Check Your Credit Report for Free Once A Year
Although some Houston credit counseling agencies claim that they can “wipe your credit report clean,” this is illegal and impossible. Nothing except time and discipline can remove correct and accurate credit information from a credit report. For most people, unless it is an error, a negative tick on your credit report will stay on that credit report for five to seven years. What is within your legal rights is investigation of your credit. If you believe your credit report file to be inaccurate or missing information, you are within your legal rights to request that the charges you dispute in your credit report be investigated and corrected, if applicable.
Many people are misled by advertisers which imply that this type of credit investigation is only doable by credit counseling agencies in Houston or elsewhere. However, this is untrue. You are perfectly capable of initiating or conducting your own investigation into your credit report without seeking credit counseling. In many cases, people hire a credit repair firm to investigate erroneous data on their credit report on their behalf. However, this is not necessary. You can perform this service for yourself, usually with no added expense.
Many people seek Houston credit counseling instead of taking measures into their own hands. There is less hassle involved by hiring a credit repair agency than doing it yourself. However, many people do not realize that they are able to investigate their own credit scores without the help of a third party. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report a year. If a company takes “adverse action” against you, such as denying a credit application, insurance application, or employment application, you are legally entitled to investigate this within 60 days of receipt of notice for this disciplinary action. If you are on welfare, you are also entitled to a free credit report. Also, if you are unemployed or the victim of identity theft or other fraud you can request a free credit report.
There are three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each of these agencies is required by law to provide consumers with free copies of their credit reports once a year, every year, upon request. You can either contact each company individually or visit annualcreditreport.com and fill out a form there, which will be directed to all three agencies. Keep in mind that there is no charge for disputing mistakes on your credit report if you find them. However, if you need further assistance, such as reducing your payments to your creditors or reducing monthly interest rates, your best bet is to hire a Houston credit counseling service who can handle the negotiations for you.