Step 1 – Pull your own credit report at least once a year. You can pull it once a year for free at www.annualcreditreport.com This website is sponsored by all three credit reporting agencies so no one is going to sell you anything. This site will only let you pull your credit report for free one time every year so you may have to visit the actual credit reporting agency’s website to pull it more than once per year.
Step 2 – Review your credit report. Check:
- Public records to see if there any judgments or liens that do not belong to you.
- The “Potentially Negative Items” section to be sure that each of these is appropriate.
- Your trade lines to be sure that all of them belong to you. Then check the payment history to be sure that your creditors are reporting all of the payments that you have made and that they are being reporting correctly.
- The bottom of your report to see who has pulled your credit report. Every time someone pulls your credit report, it leaves a “foot print” showing the name of the company and the reason why it was pulled. If you did not authorize any of these credit reports to be pulled on you, then your rights have been violated and your credit score may be adversely affected.
While its tempting to post your disputes on line, you are far better off positing your dispute in writing and sending it in via certified mail. Be sure to keep a copy of your dispute letter and all supporting documents that you sent with it. It will be your proof that you made that dispute to the credit reporting agency if you have to file a lawsuit.