A good way to start cleaning up your credit report is to fix any mistakes in it.
Clean up negative information
Negative information includes the following:
Accounts in collection (this can include medical bills, phone bills, etc.)
Lawsuits against you
Court judgments against you
Child support that has not been paid
This information stays in your credit report for seven years. Not all of it can be cleaned up right away, but work on cleaning up whatever can be cleaned up. For example, if you have overdue or delinquent accounts, contact them and make arrangements to start paying them back.
Some information can stay on your report longer. Bankruptcies can remain for seven years for completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies and 10 years for Chapter 7 bankruptcies. A criminal conviction can stay longer than that.
Add positive information
You can also add positive information.
If your credit report does not include your current job, your previous employers, your current home address, and your telephone number, contact the credit bureaus and ask that this information be added.
The purpose of having this information is to show some stability. Lenders like to know that you are stable, because it suggests to them that you are a good credit risk.
Is your credit report missing any accounts you pay on time?
You can contact the bureaus and provide evidence that shows you are paying them on time. The bureaus aren't required to add this to your report, but they may anyway.
Dive deeper: How to fix bad credit: Everything you need to know
This content was created in partnership with the Financial Fitness Group, a leading e-learning provider of FINRA compliant financial wellness solutions that help improve financial literacy.
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