Dec
10

Buying Chicago Real Estate? Check Your Credit Report First

December 10, 2010

Chicago real estateBefore you get too far along in your quest to purchase Chicago real estate, you may want to get a copy of your credit report and identify errors. Credit reporting agencies have up to 45 days to answer a consumer concern, and you don’t want to get into a contract and have such things slow you down.

A recent post on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog walks you through the steps of checking your report and, if you find an error, disputing it. Aptly titled “

How to Find and Dispute Credit Report Errors,”  the article sends you to www.AnnualCreditReport.com to request the free reports you’re due each year. You can also get a free report if you’ve reported a fraudulent claim or been denied credit in the last 60 days.

You may want to start by requesting just one free report, then reviewing it carefully. The Equifax folks say to double check all personal information and your payment histories. Also look at the dates accounts were opened and the account balances. If you discover activity on accounts you haven’t been using, if you see credit inquiries you didn’t initiate or you see negative information that should no longer be there, you’ll want to contact the credit reporting agency. You’ll also need to go ahead and request the other two reports and check for the same inaccuracies.

The negative or inaccurate information you find on your report could negatively affect your credit score and keep you from getting the mortgage loan you’re seeking, so report it immediately. The credit reporting agencies will not charge you for disputing information on your reports. Once you’ve filed your dispute, the agencies can take up to 45 days to investigate it. To speed along the process, you may also want to contact the lender who submitted the inaccurate information to the credit reporting agency.

If the credit reporting agencies find your dispute is valid, they’ll either remove or update the information in your report. Just remember that you can’t get real information removed from your report; only erroneous information. Companies that say they can get true debts removed don’t have your best interests at heart.

For all the links you need to get started ordering your credit reports and disputing false information, visit the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog . But get started today, before errors create problems for your Chicago real estate purchase.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Carol Morgan

Carol Flammer is a public relations and social media marketing expert, strategist and consultant. With 20 years of experience, Carol has established herself as the “go to” for real estate and construction products public relations and social media. Carol is president of Flammer Relations, Inc., and managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Atlanta and Chicago.

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