If you have had delinquencies in your past credit history, you know that improving your credit scores take time. Your score is a risk assessment based on your credit history, therefore the longer you build a positive history, the better your score will be. However, many times information is not reported accurately, or negative items may still be reporting long after the allowable time limits. If you have inaccurate information reporting to the credit bureaus, you may be able to increase your score instantly simply by updating your report and confirming all the information being reported to the credit bureaus is accurate.
First you need to get a copy of your tri-merge credit report. Go to the www.mcmf.net and order your free credit report. This link directs you to annualcreditreport.com which is the only site authorized by all the credit reporting bureaus. Once you have obtained your report from all three bureaus, review it carefully. If you notice inaccuracies, simply fill out a dispute form (a sample dispute letter can be accessed at http://mcmf.net/MCMF_EXCEL_FILES/Sample%20Dispute%20Letter.pdf) to have the items removed/updated from your credit report. Remember that disputing ACCURATE information is a crime and is punishable by law.
Below is a list of types of errors, which can drag your score down the most. Once you have disputed and updated your credit reports with accurate information you should see quite an increase in your credit score.
The maximum amount of time a bankruptcy can remain on your report is 10 years. If a bankruptcy entry is still there after that, dispute it and have it removed.
Debts Disposed of in Bankruptcy
If you declared bankruptcy in the past, debts covered by that bankruptcy settlement should not appear on your report as past due or still payable because bankruptcy wipes the slate clean. If you find they are still reporting, dispute them.
Outdated Lawsuits and Judgments
If you paid a legal judgment, it should not be in your records anymore. If you didn’t pay, it’s still supposed to disappear after seven years.
Inaccurate Tax Liens
Tax liens that have been paid in full can be removed from your report. Unpaid ones can last indefinitely.
Late payments and charge-offs, where creditors write your bill off because they have given up on you, are not allowed to remain on your report after seven years.
The same debt should not be listed more than once, particularly by more than one debt collector.
Other People’s Accounts
Other people’s account information — good or bad — should never appear on your credit statement. Make sure all information being reported is yours and yours only.
Old Credit Applications
“Hard” inquiries where you apply for credit count against you. They shouldn’t remain on your report for more than two years.
Credit For Which You Didn’t Apply
If you spot hard inquiries that you didn’t authorize, dispute them. “Soft” inquiries, where banks check your credit report in order to offer you a preapproved card, are harmless. Checking your own report is harmless.