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Score more help For more information or to obtain a copy of your own credit report and score, consider these services: ACA International/Ask Doctor Debt: askdoctordebt.com Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; equifax.com Disappearing screens for doors, windows and over-sized applications

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Missoula Independent

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Homesteader 2012

Experian: 1-888-397-3742; experian.com TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; transunion.com AnnualCreditReport.com changes can make a score change dramatically. Author Jennifer Standish has written about her personal experience, noting, “Something as simple as having my credit card company increase my spending limit made my credit score jump 80 points in a matter of months. By increasing my spending limit the credit reporting company considered the amount owed versus the amount available to spend to be a smaller percentage, thus boosting my score. The increase to my score increased the amount a lender was willing to lend me and also decreased the interest rate on my loan.” Conversely, an associate had her credit score drop more than 100 points simply by having one collection account added to her credit report. T h e F e d e r a l Tr a d e Commission (FTC) is a great resource for materials on how to find information about

your credit report and how to improve it. “Newspapers, radio, TV and the internet are filled with ads for companies and services that promise to erase accurate negative information in your credit report in exchange for a fee,” says the FTC. “The scam artists who run these ads not only don’t deliver— they can’t deliver. Only time, a deliberate effort and a plan to repay your bills will improve your credit as it’s detailed in your credit report.” The FTC website details the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and explains that the best way to deal with inaccurate information on your credit report is to write to the credit reporting company about what information you believe is inaccurate and provide copies of the statements that prove the inaccuracy. You should also write to the creditor who has placed the item on your credit report and let them know of your dispute. If the information on your credit report is found to be incorrect it will be corrected and if you request it, the credit reporting company must send a notice of the correction to anyone who received your report in the last six months. It is important to note that under the FCRA, “negative information regarding a debt that has been charged off by the creditor can be reported

Western Montana Homesteader  

Your guide to renting, buying and living green

Western Montana Homesteader  

Your guide to renting, buying and living green