The list of businesses that do a credit check is continually increasing. These days it seems like everyone is doing a credit check from banks to landlords to employers and even insurance companies. Before you put in an application, there are some key things you can do to prepare for a credit check.
Order a copy of your credit report and review it to see what's on it. You're entitled to one free credit report each year from each credit bureau. You can get your free credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com
. This is one of the most important parts of preparing for a credit check and should be done a few months in advance, if possible.
Your credit score will be checked as part of most credit card and loan applications. When you're getting ready for a credit check, it's a good idea to order a copy of your credit score. You'll have an idea of where your credit stands.
Having negative information on your credit report can hurt you doing a credit check. It's impossible that the information was put on your credit report by mistake. Before the credit check, submit a credit report dispute to have the information removed. You might even be able to dispute the information after your credit check, just make sure an updated copy of your credit report gets sent.
Pay off past due accounts.If you have accounts that are past due, it's a good idea to bring them current at least 30 days before your credit check. That's typically enough time for the account to be updated on your credit report. When the credit check is done, those delinquent accounts should be updated.
Follow up on unfavorable credit checks.Not all credit checks turn out the way you want. When a business makes a negative decision based on information in your credit report, you're given the opportunity to see that credit report for free. Along with a free copy of your credit report, you should also receive a letter stating the specific reasons that you were denied. If you were denied based on errors in your credit report, dispute the errors and ask that your application be reconsidered. On the other hand, if the information was correct, you should use the opportunity to repair your credit.