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Improve Your Credit

April 14, 2021

Your credit report is a very important tool when you need access to debt.  Unfortunately, most folks pay little or no attention to the contents of a credit report until an application for credit is made – then it becomes a big deal, very quickly.  You have a right to see your credit report at least once a year without charge, but you can get a copy much more quickly if you use a credit card to purchase a (downloadable) copy online.

There are some companies that offer access to a “free credit report” in exchange for dropping a tracking device (cookie) on your web browser – nothing is really “free”.  You best bet is to Contact Equifax and Transunion directly and either get the downloadable or free version directly from each of them.

Remember that some lenders prefer one reporting company over the other, so you may find different information on each report.  There may also be differences in the algorithms used to generate scores as well as the purge rules for deleting older information.

There are many factors that impact on your credit score, delinquency and late payments are obvious but also the amount of (dormant) unused credit can have an impact.  If you have access to a lot of open but unused accounts, they can affect your debt service ratio.  You should think about closing those accounts altogether.

Ironically, perhaps, in order to improve you credit score you must use credit facilities.  If you have a credit card and use it for regular purchases, paying it off at the end of each billing cycle, the credit reporting agencies will record your use and your score will improve, versus someone who has access to credit but never uses it.  With most credit cards, if you pay them off at the end of the billing cycle you will not pay interest.

Other things that may be adversely impacting your credit score are old, outdated and inaccurate information. Yet another reason to ensure you know what is on your report. There may be errors on your file, inclduing creditors that you never had, disputed accounts and even fraud. All of which underscores the importance of wknowing what is on your report.

If you do have a lot of delinquencies on your credit report, unpaid collection accounts, small claims court judgements, etc., your credit score will be adversely impacted until several years after you have paid out those accounts.  A consumer proposal or a bankruptcy can help you bring about a conclusion to such items, allowing you to start rebuilding more quickly.

For more information call: 519-646-2222