As a student, the grades you received on your report card reflected
your performance in school. Similarly, as an adult, your credit score
– the numeric value determined by the items found in your credit
report – reflects your financial performance with respect to several
factors, including your bill-paying history and your current unpaid debt.
Your credit report is a statement detailing your past and
present credit activity including your payment history and current
status of your credit accounts. You can receive free copies of your
credit report every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com, the only
authorized source under federal law that provides credit reports from
the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends checking your credit report at least once a year
to ensure your information is correct and up to date, as well as check
for any errors that may negatively impact your credit score.
Three common mistakes to look for while checking your credit
Misspelled name, incorrect Social Security number, and/or
incorrect address or phone number.
Loans and other credit accounts you’ve never opened.
Accounts erroneously listed as late, incorrect balances and credit
limits, closed accounts listed as open, incorrect delinquency dates,
and/or accounts listed more than once.
If you find any of the above errors in your credit report, the CFPB
suggests sending a dispute letter to both the credit reporting bureau
and the company that was the source of the information (e.g. your
credit card company). Your letter should clearly state the facts, your
reason for the dispute and a request that it be corrected.
Fixing mistakes in your credit report may help raise your
credit score. If you are a credit-challenged customer who is looking
to improve your credit and get approved for financing, a dealer enrolled
with Credit Acceptance can help.