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You want to fix your credit. That is a very positive thing to do, but how do you go about doing that?

The first thing you will want to do is start paying all of your bills on time. Pay them early if that will ensure that you do not miss a deadline. Whether you pay your bills on time or not is the most important reason that you will have a good or a bad credit score, so it is very important. As a matter of fact, your payment history is 35 percent of your score, and that is the largest percentage of all the criteria that the credit bureaus consider.

If you have outstanding debts, work on paying those balances down to zero. The amount that you owe counts toward 30 percent of your credit score, so this needs to be as low as it can possibly be.

Refrain from applying for credit cards when you do not really need them. Each credit application is reported to the credit bureaus, and this signals to lenders that you are about to increase your debt. Rather than do that, use the credit you already have responsibly, then lenders will have more evidence that you can use credit wisely.

Obviously, you will not want to add too many charges to your credit accounts. If you can’t pay the bills in full without leaving a balance, it will add to your outstanding debt, and this lowers your credit score.

Correcting Inaccurate and Negative Items

Now that you have learned some good habits for the future, you can work on fixing problems from the past. Negative and inaccurate items could be contributing to the reason that you have a low credit score, so you do not want to skip this next step. You are entitled to receive one free credit report from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion once a year. Therefore, order a copy of all three credit reports so that you can determine if there are any inaccuracies being reported.

You can request all three reports by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also contact the agency by telephone at 1(877)322-8228. If you would rather correspond by mail, you can send your completed Annual Credit Report Request Form to the following address:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Once you receive your report, you can begin to contact each company that is reporting inaccurate information. Let them know that you believe an item is erroneous and send them proof of this fact. The documentation that you mail to support your claims should be copies. You must clearly identify the item that you feel is in error. Explain why the item it is in error and then request that the company remove the item from your report.

Be sure to address your letter with your full name and address. It’s a good idea to send the whole report to the credit bureaus with the erroneous items clearly circled and then send it by certified mail. You should retain a copy of this letter.

The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your claims. In that time, they will send your evidence to the company that reported the erroneous information. That company, in turn, will perform its own investigation and report back to the credit bureau. In the event that the reporting agency discovers that you are right and the information is inaccurate, the agency will notify all three credit bureaus of this fact.

At the end, the credit bureau will inform you that your report has been corrected and will send you a copy of the accurate report. Your credit score should improve after this occurs.