1. Get negatives erased from your credit history
While you should always keep an eye on your credit score, the time to start getting obsessive about it is about a year before you intend to borrow. That means finding your actual score by going to myfico.com and paying for a sneak peek.
2. Get your reports.
Since your score is derived from your credit history, start by going to annualcreditreport.com and getting a free copy. Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion have to supply one free copy per year.
3. Check for accuracy.
Make sure your name, present and past addresses, credit inquiries, Social Security number, and account information (balance, payment dates, status) are all correct. If something isn’t right, it should be disputed online, or by sending the agency a letter.
4. Deal with the negatives. There are basically three ways to get negative marks removed from your credit history:
a. Let them expire: late pays and collections should disappear after seven years, bankruptcies after 10.
b. Challenge the negative mark by treating it like a mistake and disputing it with the credit reporting agency. This works if the agency is unable to verify the information with the creditor. If they can’t because the creditor doesn’t respond or is out of business, the negative has to be removed.
c. Finally – write the creditor and ask them to remove it.
Do you have additional questions? Please do not hesitate to contact Brad or Ann. We look forward to working with you!