Paint Your Own Picture

Traditionally, when we think of personal credit and our own credit history our primary concerns are those items that may reflect poorly on us. Negative reports from previous lenders, creditors and other agencies can cause a credit score to plummet quickly. However, the process of restoring good credit seems to move at a snail’s pace. Lean in…Just a little closer…We’re about to spill the tea on how to control your own credit score. Since your credit score is simply the sum of the information reported to the bureaus, all you have to do is take control of what is being reported on your behalf. Here are some options that you may not have yet considered.

Adding explanations for negative information credit reporting agencies will not agree to remove is another way to control the narrative on what is being reported about you to the bureaus. You may even want to go as far as to ask the credit reporting agencies to add information to your report that bodes favorably for, therefore making you appear more creditworthy.  Information such as:

  • Statements, details, and facts that demonstrate your stability and security, and
  • Positive account histories that are missing from your report.

While the credit reporting agency does not have to add the information per your request, unless it is required to correct an erroneous or incomplete reporting in your file, there are times when the line between incorrect and incomplete can get blurry. As a strategy, you may like to request that the creditor add some of the items listed below at the same time you submit a letter disputing incomplete or incorrect items. Alternatively, if you are not submitting a dispute letter, you can simply send a request for the addition of the missing information.

One of the main qualifiers that creditors look for is stability. If you are missing any of the following items in your current situation, you may want to consider submitting a letter to the credit reporting agencies requesting these items be added:

Current Employment

Including the name of your position as well as your employer’s name and address show stability. Take caution, however, if you think you may be sued or if a creditor has a judgement against you. Employment information is a direct line of access to you for legal purposes, including wage garnishment.

Previous Employment

If you have been on your current job for less than two years you may want to include the name and address of your former employer along with your specific position or title.

Current Residence

Will all the homeowners STAND UP!? If you’re a home owner this is an excellent way to show stability. However, real estate is also a great collection source so if you think a creditor may wish to sue you may do better to avoid this piece of information.

Previous Residence

Having less than two years of residency at your current home can make you appear less stable. Adding your previous residence will be particularly helpful if you have lived at your current residence fewer than two years.

Telephone Number

Creditors may be reluctant to grant credit if your phone number cannot be verified. Before adding this information, however, consider the fact that once your telephone number is accessible any debt collector who wishes to collect from you.

Remember to keep photocopies of the correspondence you send to any credit reporting agency. You may have to submit requests more than once. Retain copies so that you don’t have to duplicate the work you’ve already done. Credit reporting agencies are most likely to add information pertaining to your employment and residence as it is used by creditors to evaluate your credit applications. Your telephone number, social security number, and date of birth are also typically added as unique identifiers to help lessen the chances of credit file mix ups.

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