Credit Repair – Vitamins for your wallet!
Do you think a good credit rating is only necessary if you want to get a car loan or a home mortgage? It turns out your credit rating can affect a lot of important things in your life, such as whether you get hired for a job, are approved for that apartment lease, and even increase the amount you pay for car insurance.
A surprising number of agencies can request your credit rating – employers, utility companies, government agencies, insurance companies, potential creditors (such as when you apply for a credit card or loan), landlords, mortgage lenders, collection agencies, and lenders for student loans and grants.
If you need to improve your credit rating, take heart and know that:
- You are not alone.
- No one’s credit is beyond repair.
- You have legal rights.
- Help is available!
A good place to begin is to search for “credit repair” in the library catalog. The library has books (some with CDs) and DVDs that can show you step by step what to do to repair your credit. If you are presently experiencing some kind of financial trouble, there are also steps you can take to maintain your credit.
Next, request a copy of your credit report. You won’t know if there are problems that need to be addressed until you look this over. Contact the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies or go to the web site, www.AnnualCreditReport.com, a centralized service created by these companies for consumers to request a free copy of their credit report once a year.
Online help to improve your credit can be found at Building a Better Credit Report on the Federal Trade Commission web site. State consumer protection agencies can also help; for Washington State go to Credit Help on the web site of Washington State’s Attorney General.
A special note to parents – check your children’s credit regularly. As soon as a child is issued a social security number, their identity can be stolen.
- Vicki White, Librarian, South Hill Library