Business & Finance Finance

When To Get Your Credit Report

When should you get a copy of your credit report? The perfect time to do so is at least six months before you apply for a credit card or a loan. Why is this? Reviewing your credit report in advance gives you the advantage of knowing your credit status. This way, you'll know immediately whether a creditor is most likely to grant you an approval or decline your application. Checking your credit report will also put you in a better position to bargain with your creditor and ask for better rates. Obviously, if you know that you have an excellent credit history and high credit score, you will be more confident in requesting for lower rates or larger credit limit from your prospective creditor.

But what if you've found out that you have a poor credit history and a low credit score? By checking your report at least six months before sending in your application, you know that you still have time to work on your credit and improve your score. Within the six months, you must do all the necessary steps you can do to boost your credit. How? Pay off your past due bills. Contact your existing creditors and ask for new repayment terms. Make sure that you don't miss or delay a single payment to any of your creditors. By doing this, you can be sure that you will be making a significant improvement in your credit score.

After six months, obtain of your credit report and check if you are finally ready to apply for a new credit. Take note that even the slightest increase in your total credit score can make a big difference in getting your approved and qualified for lower rates and better deals.

Does this mean you should only obtain your credit report if you have plans to apply for new credit? Ideally, consumers should make it a habit to check their credit report at least twice a year. Why is this important? Even if you're not going to apply for a loan or a new credit card, checking on your credit report is your best protection against identity theft and fraud.

Everyone is entitled to get one copy of their credit report for free each year. If your requesting your second copy or additional copies, the fee cost ranges from $9-$15, depending on the credit reporting agency. Remember that the three major credit bureaus- Experian, Equifax and Trans Union- each have their separate reports so it's best that you get copy of your credit report from each of these bureaus.

Also, if you have been denied credit because of the information contained in your credit report, you have the right to receive a copy of your report at no charge. If you suspect fraud or ID theft, or if you are unemployed, you can also ask for a free copy of your report.

Lastly, if you found errors or inaccuracies in your credit report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right dispute these information. Just send your letter of dispute to the credit bureau that issued your report and explain clearly why you think there is a mistake with the reporting.

Copyright (c) 2010 Suzy Vanstrusen

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