Debt consolidation is on everyone's mind today in this horrific economy. To determine what your next step is, start by obtaining your credit report. There are three companies that provide all of your debt details. Those three companies and their addresses are listed below.
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Each of the above credit reporting agencies compile information from every financial institution you may have been involved with. This can include check cashing businesses, pawn shops, mortgage companies, auto lenders, landlords, department stores, hospitals and even private individuals. If someone is owed money by you they can report that fact through various services or courts and it will show up on your credit report. This information may or may not be accurate which is not the fault of the reporting agency.
Once you have received these statements, take the time to review each one in detail. Take three separate sheets of paper and at the top of each put the name of one of the agencies. Starting with Equifax, for example, first confirm your personal information represents the correct addresses you have lived at or employers you worked for. Make a note if one needs to be deleted or corrected. Secondly, see if any judgments, tax liens or any other public record items are eligible to be removed. Tax liens are listed for seven years from the date they are paid off. Lastly review all the account information in the account status column and be sure that information is current. If you have closed an account, for example, it may not be reflected yet. Make a note and bring that to the attention of that particular credit bureau by fax.
If you choose to use a professional debt consultant to help you with this process, it is wise to perform the above steps so you can capitalize on the efficiency afforded you by a financial service company. On occasion there may be items that require an update and a reputable service will save you the time of sending out 30 faxes or letters. All three reporting companies will be updated with the critical changes and those contacts will be followed up by the debt management service resulting in a higher credit score for you.
Remember always do some research before making a decision.