Maintaining good credit is essential to your financial health. NJBankers is offering these tips for maintaining good credit.
Check your credit report regularly.
» Before applying for a credit card, auto, or mortgage loan, it’s important to check your credit report for accuracy. Errors on a credit report could hurt your chances of getting a loan with favorable terms.
» Federal law allows you to get one free copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agency every year. The national credit reporting agencies must provide a single point of contact so you can get reports from all three national credit reporting agencies with a single Internet request, telephone call, or mail form. Free annual credit reports are available to all consumers through the Federal Trade Commission at www.annualcreditreport.com.
» Only incorrect or outdated information (negative items over seven years old) can be removed from your credit record. No one can remove legitimate items, including companies who claim they can do it for a fee.
» Consumer protection laws ensure you can get all the information you need to correct inaccurate credit reports. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a credit bureau has 30 days to investigate disputed items. If the credit bureau is unable to confirm the accuracy of the disputed item within that time, they must remove it from your credit report.
Beware of “credit doctors” or others who promise to fix your credit history, NJBankers warn.
» A quick fix isn’t always the best fix. The only thing that can repair an accurate – but negative – credit report is time and a positive payment history.
» “Credit Doctors” promise to “fix” your credit report —that’s not possible. In most cases, the cure is worse than the illness.
» Some credit repair scams are illegal. “Credit Doctors” guarantee a whole new and perfect credit record. In most cases, they’ll give you a social security number that belongs to someone who has good credit. This is fraudulent and will only make your problems worse.