Credit is part of your financial power. It helps you to get the things you need now, like a loan for a car or a credit card, based on your promise to pay later. Working to improve your credit helps ensure you'll qualify for loans when you need them.Your credit score determines a lot more than the loans you can get, and the interest rates you pay. Insurers use credit scores to set premiums for auto and homeowner’s coverage. Landlords use them to decide who gets to rent their apartments. Without a good credit score and history, the experts say, it's more difficult to qualify for a mortgage or car loan – and more expensive too, because you won't get the best interest rates.
A credit score is a number between 300–850 that depicts a consumer's creditworthiness and lending risk. A credit score is one way banks, credit card companies and finance companies determine the likelihood that you can and will pay off debts you owe. The higher the score, the better a borrower looks to potential creditor. A credit score is based on credit history, number of open accounts, amount of debt, repayment history, and other factors.
You can check your credit score with all three bureaus once a month or your credit report once a year for free. Checking your own credit score or report is called a “soft” inquiry and does not affect your score. Studies have shown that checking your credit score often can help you improve your credit standing. There are several third-party services available on the internet to help you pull your credit score and report or you can contact the three reporting agencies directly (Trans Union, Equifax & Experian).
Credit reporting companies are required to investigate your dispute unless they determine it is frivolous and chooses not to investigate, but they must send you a written notice within five days stating they have made that determination.
Here is how to contact the three credit reporting companies:
By Phone: (800) 916-8800By
Mail: Download and complete a dispute form off the Trans Union website and send to
Consumer Dispute Center
PO Box 2000Chester, PA 19016
By Phone: (866) 349-5191
By mail: Download and complete a dispute form off the Equifax website and send to
Equifax Information Services, LLC
PO Box 740256
By Phone: (888) 397-3742
By mail: Send your written dispute and copy of your credit report to:
PO Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013