The state of your credit is one that follows you during your whole life. Knowing what things are in your credit history is part of the battle, but there are also things that you can do to improve your credit score. Each year you will engage in activity that uses your credit, buying a car, refinancing a home, moving to a new duty station, or other action. Each time you use your credit, a record is left on your credit report.
Check Your Credit Score
Many people are eligible for a free copy of their credit report, and those that are not yet this year will be soon. On a gradually expanding basis, the Fair and Accurate Credit Act is paving the way for everyone to get their own copy of their credit report. The best way to know what is on your credit is to get your own copy. The three credit bureaus are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. All three can be contacted by letter or are available on the Internet. It is worthwhile to get a copy from each of the three to truly know what is on your credit report.
Verify Your Identity
People assume that the information they will find on their credit report is accurate. What people do not realize is; the system is not perfect. Verify the information is correct, and if it is not, then take steps to contact the credit bureaus and have it removed. Keep a list, a written log of anyone that you contact during your quest. Write down and document the steps you make as you insure that the information on your credit report is true and accurate. If you contact a lender or creditor to have bogus charges removed, make sure that you use certified mail so that you can record and verify they were contacted.
Know The Bottom Line
The three credit bureaus write your credit report based on information that they receive. If you make payments on time, that is also reported. So are late payments. It is in your best interest to make timely payments on debts that you have.
Know How Deep You Are
One of the most important things is; if you are in deep trouble with your debt you need to come up with a plan. If you can figure out how to repay your debt inside of a couple years, you are likely okay. If not, then you may need some help to plan to fix your credit. If you are not shopping for credit, one way is to check your credit report three or four times a year. A good way to do this is to get a report from one of the three credit reporting agencies every four months.