Drug testing

How Healthy Is Your Credit

There's only one way to discover the "health" of your credit. You need to examine your credit report. Your credit report is your "consumer identity" that potential lenders will use to judge your credit worthiness.

Use these tips to give your credit profile the "tune-up" it needs for 2004.

Tip #1- Check for Errors Your credit report or profile is more than just a collection of who your creditors are and how much you owe them or have paid them.

The first thing you need to do is carefully check that your credit report is accurate. Nearly 70% of credit reports contain errors.

These errors may be as simple as an incorrect middle initial or address. Or it could be as serious as a creditor reporting that you were late with a payment when in fact you were not late at all.

This error might not seem like a big deal to you. However,to a future lender like a mortgage company it makes a big difference !

Carefully examine your credit report and if you find an error contact your creditor and the credit bureaus. Catch and correct these errors now before it hurts your chances of securing credit in the future.

Tip #2 - Correcting Errors The two most common errors contained in credit reports are:

1) wrong account information

2) incorrect recording of late payments.

If you find an account reported that does not belong you, you need to contact the credit grantor or issuer immediately. Remember, finding accounts that you have not personally opened is a sign of possible identity theft.

Hopefully you'll discover that this error is nothing more than an oversight and not an identity theft problem. Most often this occurs when they report an account belonging to a family member or someone with a similar name on your credit report.

If your problem is an error in reporting a late payment you will need proof to back up your case before this error can be corrected or removed. The most common error occurs when a payment is reported as "late" when it was actually a current or "on time" payment.

In either case, the problem can and should be corrected. You will need to correct the error in writing. Keep a journal or log of all calls and correspondence.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the credit bureaus and the agency reporting the information to the credit bureau to correct inaccurate information in your credit report. Therefore, it is important that you contact both the credit bureau and the creditor whose information is in dispute.

A sample letter is included here to help you in correcting your credit profile. Make sure that you clearly identify the information that you dispute, include copies of receipts or documents that support your position. Then request that the information be corrected or deleted from your file.

Send your letter by certified mail and request a return receipt from the recipient. Keep all correspondence that you mail out. Give the agencies involved 30 days to begin their investigation. You can call them but be aware that phoning them does not protect your consumer rights! You must notify them in writing to protect your rights.

They must notify you of the results of their investigation. Although the process will take time, it's important to do it. This is your credit profile, your "consumer identity" that is at stake. Don't expect an error to correct itself.

At your request, the credit bureaus must send notices of corrections to your credit profile to anyone who has requested your report in the last six months. If you applied for a job and were turned down because of inaccurate information in your credit report, you can have the corrected report mailed to anyone who received a copy in the past two years.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Sample Dispute Letter Date

Your Name Your Address Your City, State, Zip Code

Complaint Department Name of Credit Reporting Agency Address City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute are also encircled on the attached copy of the report I received. (Identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.)

This item is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.

Sincerely, Your name

Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing)

Originally Posted at http://www.ftc.gov/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tip #3 - Budget Planning You can also use your credit report to help you plan and implement a personal budget. Your credit report will show you where you are spending your hard earned dollars. While the credit card balances may not be completely current, you'll still see which of your cards has the highest balance outstanding.

If you have more than one major credit card you should compare the annual percentage rate (APR) you are paying on each account. If you are working on a budget to "pay down" your credit cards, start by paying down the one with the highest APR or interest.

Once that credit account is paid off, move toward paying off the account with the second highest APR. Using this method you will be able to concentrate your efforts toward paying down your outstanding credit obligations.

You should also check with your credit card company to see what's the best annual percentage rate (APR) they can offer you. If you are a good customer, you can often qualify for a lower rate than what you are currently being offered.

Caution: Ask if the new rate you are getting is a "promotional" rate or a "contract" rate. A promotional rate will expire at the end of the promotional term, for example 6 months. A contract rate does not have an "expiration" as long as you continue to meet the terms outlined by your creditor for that rate.

Tip #4 - Making a major purchase If you are considering a major purchase such as a car or a home, checking your credit report gives you the chance to see what a potential lender sees and uses to judge your credit worthiness.

You want to make sure that your credit report is accurate before you apply for that sports car or new home. Errors or problems can be corrected before your lender can use those against you and deny your credit request. You'll also have a better idea of what type or rate of credit you should expect from a potential lender.

Tip #5 - Check your credit report regularly Check your credit report regularly. Guard your "consumer identity" as you would anything else you treasure. Use your credit wisely, along with these tips, and you will enjoy the benefits that your good credit and your good name deserve now - and for years to come.

? 2004, www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com
Author: James H. Dimmitt.
James is editor of "TO YOUR CREDIT", a weekly free newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter by visiting http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com.

limousine chicago service
In The News:

Various Types of Credit Cards - Part 2

Several different types of credit cards offer several different options,... Read More

Dont Trade Your Future for Todays DooDads

"Easy Low Down Monthly Payment," "Buy Now Pay Later," "You... Read More

Credit Card Security Advice

Which of the following is the biggest threat to your... Read More

How To Repair Your Credit Report

A credit report is run on a buyer when he... Read More

Identity Theft ? Additional Protection for Soldiers on Active Duty

Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act several years ago... Read More

Balance Transfers Can Help You Stop Putting Money Down The Drain!

As you probably know, interest rates are at all time... Read More

What Should I Do If I?ve Become a Victim of Identity Theft?

Identity thieves take advantage of everyday opportunities to discover your... Read More

How To Eliminate Credit Card Debt

There is almost nothing more troublesome than having too much... Read More

5 Killer Steps to avoid Credit Card SCAMS!

In August, 2004, the Federal Trade Commission issued their findings... Read More

The Art of Stoozing to Make Money from Credit Cards

Make Money from StoozingStoozing, this is a sophisticated method of... Read More

Dealing With and Repairing Bad Credit

Bad credit can be a burden for otherwise good credit.... Read More

Free Credit Reports Now Available From the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has set up a new... Read More

How You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft

To reduce or minimize the risk of becoming a victim... Read More

What You Need To Know About Credit Cards

What is a credit card? A credit card is... Read More

Is Your Credit Score Being Held Against You?

Credit Scores That HurtIs your credit score being held against... Read More

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a form of unsecured credit. The issuer... Read More

How To Get Out Of Credit Card Debt

If you're like the average person, let me warn you... Read More

5 Surefire Ways To Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Do you have enormous credit card debt? You are certainly... Read More

Why Does FACTA Matter to Me?

FACTA stands for Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. FACTA... Read More

It Is In Your Best Interest To Do The Math On Your Credit Card Interest

If you begin foaming at the mouth once a month... Read More

Credit Cards For People With Bad Credit Scores

Sometimes life lands you in a situation that causes your... Read More

Compare Credit Card Offers and Reward Yourself

Here's a simple system on how to pay zero interest... Read More

Dont Fall For A Scheme When Trying To Rebuild Your Credit History

For people with a spotty credit history or bad credit,... Read More

Credit Card Incentives

Credit card companies want your business. After all, lending money... Read More

Identity Theft ? Guard Your Childrens Social Security Numbers

Identity theft is a growing concern among Americans, and rates... Read More

new led light bulbs walkway lighting Pete's produce ..