Credit Repair Program -- Step 2. Evaluate Your Credit Reports
Before beginning the process of evaluating your credit reports, make at least two copies of it. You will need two copies to make notes in the margins, and you want to keep at least one copy clean and unmarked for future use.
Secondly, in order to determine if your credit report is accurate, the first thing you must do is; of course, learn how to read a credit report so you can evaluate it thoroughly. To do this requires taking a few minutes to learn the coding system credit bureaus use on credit reports. The credit bureau sent a key along with your credit report, but if it did not or you are having trouble reading it, review the article, "How to Read a Credit Report." You might also find keys to their coding systems at their websites.
Under federal law, you have the right to have inaccurate, false, and obsolete information removed and the right to have all accounts reported accurately and fairly. Therefore, starting at the top of your credit report in the personal information section, begin marking whatever inaccurate, incomplete or false information you find with a red pen. Check all accounts, dates, amounts owed and account status. It doesn't matter if the record is a bankruptcy, judgment, credit card account or loan installment -- If you find anything that is not accurate or complete, you have the right under federal law to have it fixed and you should circle it with your pen and make notes in the margin.
Examples of information you have the right to have corrected:
- A previously charged-off account that you have subsequently paid in full and there is not a notation that it has been paid in full
- An incorrect birth date or spelling of your name or an incorrect address or former address
- An account that incorrectly indicates you were late making your payments on one or more occasions
- Negative information (charge-offs, late payments, judgments) that is more than seven years old or a bankruptcy that occurred more than ten years ago
- Accounts that belong to your former spouse or someone else with the same name
- Incorrect information associated with a bankruptcy, lien or judgment, such as incorrect dates, amounts, etc.
- Inquiries made by companies whom you did not authorize to pull your credit report