Once again, we are tackling the issue of the credit report. We have discussed this many times and yes, we’ll keep talking about it because it’s an important tool in your financial stability and if you’re not careful in watching this, you could be starring down the path of things you never imagined.

Working at various levels of a collection agency for over 20 plus years, I have seen many cases of individuals and businesses for that matter getting into unnecessary situations of adverse credit issues because of human error or criminal activity such as various levels of identity theft. As I have mentioned before on our blog, pulling your credit report on a regular basis is essential to keeping tabs on your financial life.

So you pulled your credit report from all three agencies; TransUnion (www.transunion.com ), Equifax (www.equifax.com), and Experian (http://www.experian.com). Now what?

Well if you didn’t see anything that isn’t yours, you could be all set. Congratulations. If you found some errors or even worse, credit entries that are just outright wrong, you have a little work to do.

Here are some of the things you should be looking for when you review your credit report:

  • Accounts marked delinquent from collection agencies or an original creditor
  • Credit lines that you may have applied for long ago and have forgotten about
  • Requests for credit that you did not initiate (this could mean that are a victim of identity theft)

If you find items that are incorrect, inaccurate or are just not yours, you need to act quickly. Don’t wait. Dispute those items immediately with the credit bureau. Federal law states that you can dispute these inaccuracies for free so do it. Once you do that, the credit bureau will contact the source of the data and then hopefully solve your issue although I have heard cases of these disputes depending on who you’re dealing with takes some time. But hang in there. This is your financial life we’re talking about.

Also, as many cases of uncovered identity theft, if you feel you have been the victim of this, you need to visit www.consumer.gov/idtheft to find out your rights and other methods of resolving that issue.