Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
3 Steps to Taking Control of Your Credit Report Mechel Glass, CredAbility.org According to a recent CredAbility consumer distress index, the budget of the average American household is once again under stress. People are having trouble saving money, and consumer sentiment has been stagnant. Instead of letting…
3 Steps to Taking Control of Your Credit Report
Mechel Glass, CredAbility.org
According to a recent CredAbility consumer distress index, the budget of the average American household is once again under stress. People are having trouble saving money, and consumer sentiment has been stagnant.
Instead of letting the economic crisis decimate their finances, though, millions of people have been rebuilding their credit as they pay down their debt. In fact, in May of 2013, the credit category of the index rose to 90—with 100 being the maximum level of consumer confidence—for the first time in 24 years. That’s a sign that consumers continue to pay their credit cards and loans on time.
However, if you aren’t feeling confident in your credit history or credit score, there are a few steps you can take to present a positive credit report.
1. Make sure you pay your bills on time.
If keeping up with your credit card bills is still a problem, call the issuer to explain your situation and attempt to negotiate a payment that you can afford. Ask the issuer how this will be reported to the three major credit reporting agencies: Not paid as agreed? Or now paying as agreed, per the new terms? Make certain you get any agreement in writing.
Assess the damage to your credit by getting a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus through annualcreditreport.com.
2. Write a personal statement for your credit report.
Since prospective employers may pull a copy of your credit report, consider adding a one-hundred-word statement to each of your reports explaining your hardship, whether it’s a job loss or an overwhelming medical debt. All three major credit reporting agencies allow you to add a brief statement through their websites. Most scoring models don’t consider consumer statements in the scoring formula , however, so don’t expect it to sway lenders.
3. Stay away from bogus credit-repair companies.
You’ve probably seen ads for credit-repair companies who say they’ll clean up your credit in a few short weeks—stay away from these organizations. Some companies manage to clean up your credit for a limited time by disputing all of your accounts and sending letters to the bureaus claiming the accounts aren’t valid. But after the credit bureaus validate the accounts and debts, they’ll reappear on your report, and your score will plummet again.
Legitimate credit-repair companies exist, but there’s nothing they can do that you can’t do for yourself—for free.
For people committed to improving their credit score, CredAbility offers online classes at www.CredAbility.org. However you decide to attack your credit, it starts with you. The best way to improve your credit score is to set a goal, create an action plan with specific steps, and follow through on those steps.
How To Dispute Credit Report Errors
Four Things College Kids Need To Know About Credit
Four Myths About Your Credit History
Debt Reduction: Why Paying Down Your Credit Card Debt Helps Your Credit Score
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.