Hi I’m Aazim Sharp a personal credit advisor and founder of Leaf Credit Repair, a National Credit Repair Organization based in New Jersey.

In this article I’m going to show you how to review and understand your credit report and  I’ll point out some of the common errors you need to look for on your credit report. Reviewing a credit report can be overwhelming and somewhat intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

According to the US Public Interest Research Group, 79% of credit reports contain errors, so it’s vitally important that you review your credit report at least twice per year. Ideally you should subscribe to a  credit monitoring service so you can get alerted when changes take place with your credit.

The first step is to get an up to date copy of your tri- merge credit report with scores. That simply means a credit report that includes all 3 bureaus merged into 1 report.

You can get a copy of your tri-merge credit report instantly online from companies like MyFico.com, Creditchecktotal.com or IdentityIQ.com

These companies charge a monthly fee for credit monitoring, but if you want a copy of your credit report and don’t want to pay for credit monitoring,  Sign up for a trial service , print out a copy of your report, or download it and save it to your desktop and then cancel your subscription before the trial period ends. Most of them will only charge you a $1 fee during the trial period, but at least you’ll have an up to date credit report with scores.

To most people, Credit reports are confusing to understand. I’m going  to show you how to easily review and understand your report and what type of errors you should watch for.

Start in the Personal Information section and see if there are variations of your name that you don’t use, incorrect or unfamiliar addresses, a wrong social security number or date of birth. If you spot these types of errors, it’s a good indicator your credit file has been mixed with someone else’s and you may have other errors on your report.

Next you want to go through the section that shows who has pulled your credit. If you see companies you aren’t familiar with or didn’t authorize,  that could be another indication that your credit file could have been mixed with someone else’s information.

When reviewing the section that lists your accounts and pay history, be sure to be on the watch for common errors such as Duplicate Accounts. It is common for a creditor to report an account multiple times. This can have a negative impact on your scores, so pay close attention when reviewing your report.

Be on the lookout for accounts past the statue of limitations. Creditors often sell accounts to other debt collectors and the new company will report the account as new even if it has already been on your report for years . This process is called *Re-aging. Look closely at your credit report for these types of tactics used by the creditors.

The Key Is To: Print out a copy of your credit report , take your time , review each section separately. Use a pen or highlighter and highlight all the mistakes.

Don’t wait to get a copy of your credit report when you need to make an important purchase . Monitor your credit report, review it regularly and address any issues if and when they occur so that your prepared before you need your credit.

Your credit has a major impact on your life and when you don’t have good credit, it can affect your ability to purchase a home, rent an apartment, AND even get a job. Don’t wait until the last minute, or have an emergency situation occur that requires you to have good credit and your stuck. Address your credit issues NOW not LATER.

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