Give Your Credit a Check-up!
With a little research and 5 simple steps, it’s easy to spruce up your credit profile:
1. Get the facts
Look closely at the data from the credit reporting agency to see that it all matches up. Keep an eye out for:
- Wrong mailing addresses
- Incorrect Social Insurance Number
- Signs of identity theft
- Errors in your credit accounts
- Late payments
- Unauthorized hard inquiries
2. Right the wrongs
Contact your creditors or send letters of dispute to the credit reporting agency to have errors on your credit profile corrected.
3. Improve your behaviour
Identify problem areas on your credit profile and make a plan for improvement. If you’ve had a hard time paying your bills on time, sign up for an automated payment service. If your debt levels are above 50% of your available limit, create a payment plan to reduce your balances. Set goals for improving your credit and be sure to celebrate when you reach a milestone.
4. Follow up
Check your credit again 30-60 days after disputing errors and changing your behaviour to see how much you have improved. If any of the disputed inaccuracies remain, contact the credit grantor to further your dispute and determine if the item can be taken off your credit profile. If you want to tell your side of the story, forward a written request to the credit reporting agency to have a consumer statement added to your credit file.
5. Monitor your credit
To guard against fraud and keep your credit healthy, sign up for a Credit Monitoring service that will quickly alert you to any changes in your profile. Keep copies of your old credit profiles and letters of dispute in a safe place for future reference. Make a plan to evaluate your progress quarterly.