If you want to stay on top of your credit and finances it is important to obtain an annual credit report. Your annual credit report has detailed information about your credit history and it is very important to verify that all the information is correct. 80% of all credit reports have mistakes reported on them. These mistakes can mean the difference between obtaining credit or not being able to receive financing.
Verifying the information on your report is very important if you wish to keep your credit score in a good range. If you use a debt consolidation service or other financial service it will also be a good way to verify that the credit bureaus are reporting your payments accurate.
When you obtain your credit report verify each piece of information carefully, including your name. Simple misspellings or an incorrect middle initial can have adverse effects on your report. Points come off your report if they show that you are using "alias" names with your social security number. Verify all the addresses associated with the report and make sure they are all yours. Unknown addresses can be from another person with a similar name and you might have their accounts reported.
When you go through your accounts make sure that all the information is posted correctly. Credit limits and balance amounts will directly affect your score and this is where many mistakes are found. If you find any accounts that are not yours you can dispute them immediately on the credit agency website and they have thirty days to fix the problem. It is very important to remember that the credit bureau must provide proof that this account is yours. Failure to confirm the validity of the item means they must remove the account. Removal of bad or non-existent accounts can dramatically increase your score.