Tip # 1 is to know where you are currently with your stance in good credit. Order a credit report. A lot of companies now will provide a free credit report, and options to continue to receive your credit report at designated intervals for a nominal fee or membership (ones I’ve seen are generally yearly).
Ordering your credit report can open your eyes to a lot of things you may have forgotten about that occurred months or years ago, and had no idea was affecting your good credit rating.
Credit Reports and the Importance of Reviewing for Errors and Ommissions :
By doing this, you allow for the removal of ommissions and errors that may be present on your credit report, and to pay any old debts that you didn’t know you still had out there, like an unpaid balance or delinquency that can negatively affect your rating, and then affect the rate you get from the next lender.
The funny thing is, many times people will go in for a loan or a mortgage and only find out then that they have an outstanding delinquency or unpaid balance that they weren’t even aware of. Then that’s when they take care of it, but the problem is the damage has already been done. Good part is, going forward they’ve wiped that little blemish off their credit history.
It’s important to note the long term affects on your credit rating and report that not paying something has. Negative payment information, like consistently late payments (usually a loan company will report late payments after so many, or if they’ve been considerably late, delinquencies, liens, and any financially related judgments against you, should be dropped 7 years after they’ve occurred or were reported.
On the other hand, bankruptcies, a much more serious and not so easily rectified financial and credit issue, can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years.
After you’ve reviewed your credit report, if you find errors, there is a process by which you may ask the credit bureau to investigate what you’ve deemed as errors listed on their provided reports. You can usually use a form that’s included if the credit report was mailed, or if you order your credit report online, you are usually provided with a web link to rectify the problem, or at least have it investigated to see if it is in fact legitimate.