There are so many bogus facts, untruths and misconceptions about a person’s credit report they’re like ants on a wet log. Do this, do that, don’t do anything; it seems that everybody wants to see if they can make a buck off your credit report or credit score ignorance. This article puts an end to most of the stuff you get bombarded with on a daily basis via TV, radio and online about credit problems: fact or fiction?

#1 – I have to pay for my credit reports that come from: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion! This is pure fiction. Using the Federal Government site the law says you get one FREE on an annual basis from all three credit reporting agencies. No contracts, no hidden mouseprint, zip, nada, zero. However if you want FICO scores, that will be an extra chump-change fee.

#2 – It’s okay to pay money to a company who promises to repair my bad credit! More pure fiction. There is NO legal way to repair credit unless you want to lie and fudge facts. Anybody claiming to know loopholes and shortcuts are only interested in some of your green pieces of paper with the pictures of dead presidents on the front.
Anything legal a clinic says they can do, you can do yourself.

#3 – I can improve my own credit report history by myself. This is a fact. You can improve your credit and FICO scores by taking a close look at your credit reports, chart a firm plan of action that includes these five things:
** Pay your bills on time
** Keep debts to a minimum
** Manage your credit wisely and don’t open new accounts
** Know how the credit bureau determines and underwrites your credit history
** Use only one credit card – but don’t close any of the others; just file them away.

One basic fact about your credit report is knowing what’s in it. You can’t tell who the players are if you don’t have a scorecard. Another fact to remember is checking your credit reports regularly is a good thing. Even hiring a credit monitoring service to handle that chore for you will work. Just make sure the company you hire is reputable, been in business for a long time, and is affordable.

One basic fiction about credit reports is that they are accurate. Sorry folks, but that’s a red flag waiting to happen. Inaccuracies and mixed credit files can sprout like poppies in a vacant field simply because of human error. Ergo, giving you the opportunity to dispute. So track your payments, check and verify everything, and cut the cards. Even one 30 day late payment can be a big mistake, so don’t let it happen.

Oh, one more credit item that is pure fiction is believing that not paying a debt is okay. Totally ignoring your credit card bills is worse than paying them 30 or 60 days late. Consistently being late brings a charge off which is bad news.