How to fix your Credit

To set your credit balance

Troubleshooting credit reports errors Why were you refused this cell or credit cards agreement, or this private credit? Perhaps your credit is not as good as you thought - or perhaps there is an error in your account. If more than one institution reports your information to more than one credit agency, errors may occur.

To verify that all the information in your credit record is accurate, the best way to do this is to obtain regular copy of your records. "It' s important for everyone to know what is on his account and whether the detail is correct," says Paul Crayston, spokesperson for National Debtline.

" For £2 per survey you can order your survey on-line from any of the three credit bureaus (Experian, CallCredit and Equifax). Looking at the information in your account can easily draw your attention to errors that look poor for creditors - such as bank balances you've never opened, debt you've already repaid (but still shown as unpaid), or false personally identifiable information that doesn't fit with the information in your credit applications.

Errors in your credit statements could be due to plain typing errors - or something more eerie. Thieves who get hold of your personally identifiable information can make scam loan requests using your name or adress. Some 113,000 individuals per year reported that their identity was misappropriated, says James Jones, chief of consumers matters at Experian.

"Lots of folks didn't find out until out of the blue credit was denied to them," Jones says, "And it's a big problem because credit unions now have specialized crews working to help folks solve it. "As soon as you file a complaint about scam with the credit agency, your work is not done.

Reporting the felony to the cops and then starting the tedious credit return procedure. Corresponding to a leader of Equifax who includes freeze your bank account with bankers, lenders and utilities - and often checks your credit reports for all new bank account opened on your behalf.

However, if, for example, you had a common credit line that you thought was locked (but not actually closed), your ex's behaviour may still influence your creditworthiness. Living at the same location as you and the individual with whom you share the funds can often lead to confusion as the funds requested at your location are inadvertently allocated to your account in your reports.

"Matrimony is not a finance agreement, but if you have requested a common loan in the past - unless you tell us something about your changing circumstance - your credit rating could be affected by the other person's credit history," Jones says. "And if anything [on your report] doesn't match, you should contact us to ask us to delete those hyperlinks.

" We recommend that you write to the credit bureau to "distance yourself" from your former mate. "You' ll need to fill out a blank that contains information about the individuals you want to remove from your report," says Crayston. "They only have to turn to one of the credit bureaus as they will be sharing the separation with the other agents.

You may have settled a loan a long time ago, but the lender still reports the loan as unsettled to the creditors. When the bugs in your reports come under the latter group, they are probably easy to fix. Generally, according to Equifax, you should be able to arrange things with the vendor.

There are many standardised methods that allow users to settle disputes over their bank account. As soon as the bug is fixed, the accurate information is sent to the credit bureau and your account is clear. However, if you have a long drawn-out argument with a believer - or if the bug takes a while to resolve - you can also voluntarily come forward to include information about your credit file in a so-called fix notification, says Crayston.

This object allows you to clarify the conditions behind the indebtedness so that creditors will see it when a credit hunt is made. All three major credit bureaus have reached agreement on standards that clients can include in their letters of amendment. Whatever your credit report's flaws, they can charge you a mortgage, good credit cards conditions or even a salary.

Therefore, it is a good suggestion to ensure that all your information is correct and up to date. "If you' re looking for a loan, you want to get the best possible impression of your own finances," Jones says. "The credit information is refreshed every month, so some very recent changes may not appear immediately."

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