Wednesday, June 25, 2008

10 incredible facts about your credit report

1. I can pay credit repair companies to delete bad information on your credit report. A lot of credit repair companies use this false information to attempt to attract customers for their credit repair services. The truth is that if you have not paid your credit card bills on time, there is no credit repair company that has the ability to legally delete the negative information on your credit report. Bringing your payments in good standing is the only thing that will reduce the impact of your late payments, on your credit score.

2. My personal information on my credit report is accurate. Nothing is farther from the truth than this. Over 75% of credit reports have inaccurate information. The credit reporting agencies have human beings working for them, and they can make mistakes that can impact your credit score. Not only do they routinely make mistakes on your personal information, they can accidentally place derogatory information that does not belong to you on your credit report.

3. My bankruptcy filing will not be reported on my credit report after 7 years. It depends on what type of bankruptcy you filed. If you file a chapter 13 -- reorganization of debt -- then this kind of bankruptcy will not be reported on your credit report after 7 years. However if you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- forgiveness of all debt -- your bankruptcy filing will stay on your record for 10 years.

4. I need special skills to repair my credit. This is not true. According to the Federal Trade Commission, whatever the credit repair companies can do for you, you can do for yourself. So there is no need to make monthly payments to credit repair companies who end up charging you hundreds of dollars just to do the same thing that you can do yourself.

5. My divorce decree will exonerate me from all the debt that my ex and I jointly owed. This is not true. Just because you got a divorce, and your ex kept the house, and they agreed to make the mortgage payments, does not mean that if they miss payments that your credit will not be affected. Your credit will be affected. A divorce decree does not mean you are no longer obligated to pay your mortgage. Your mortgage company may work out something with you if your ex spouse agrees to sign a document that states that they will be solely responsible for making the mortgage payments. Now if their credit score is weak and yours is stronger, the mortgage company may not honor your request to have your name removed from the mortgage documents.

6. I will reduce my credit score if I check my credit report. Not true again. You can check your credit report without affecting your credit score negatively.

7. If a bunch of car dealers or mortgage companies pull my credit report, my credit score will go down. This is not true. Credit reporting agencies understand that smart consumers will shop for the best deals and will not penalize you by taking points off your score, as long as these pulls occur within a 30 day period.

8. I can boost my credit score simply by canceling my credit cards. Creditors prefer to see two to three open credit cards that are active than credit cards that have been closed out. You are even better off having a credit card that you do not use than canceling the one you do have.

9. I have to pay a fee to obtain a copy of my credit report. Not true. Credit reporting agencies by law are required to provide you with a copy of your credit report once a year. So you can contact any of the credit reporting agencies and obtain a copy of your credit report free of charge.

10. My credit score is so low that there is no way I can repair it. This is not true. You can repair your credit and boost your credit score if you know how to go about it.

So if your credit is bad and you want to repair it you must first make sure that you are clear on what you can and cannot do with your credit report. Once you understand what you can and cannot do, it becomes much easier for you to start the process of repairing your credit.

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