Frequently Asked Questions: CREDIT SCORES
Our readers want to know...

"How does deletion of derogatory information affect your credit score?"

Finding and disputing errors or outdated derogatories in your credit is the key to improving your credit score. Once they have been deleted by the Big 3 credit bureaus -- TransUnion, Equifax and Experian -- then your credit score will improve because those black marks will simply vanish.

It will be like they never existed.

Your credit report is an evolving document that reflects how you use -- or abuse -- credit. Anyone who has gone through a divorce or an extended period of unemployment and suffered financially to the point of falling behind in their bills, lost a home to foreclosure, had to file for personal bankruptcy, all of these people can eventually restore good credit if they regroup, stick to good credit and good spending habits, start paying their bills on time and reduce outstanding debts.

In time, their credit will be reestablished and their credit score will rise. I've seen it happen time and time again. People are not saddled with bad credit forever, unless they continue to misuse or abuse credit.

Derogatory marks in your credit can include missed mortgae or credit card payments, accounts turned over to a collection agency, they can even be mistakes that wormed their way onto your credit report. By preventing them from ever appearing there, to taking action and disputing errors you find once you've reviewed your free credit reports, you can change your credit for the better.

You can check your credit score for free by logging onto the authorized site,, and viewing or downloading your free consumer credit reports. Once you have the reports, you can check them over for accuracy and then dispute errors you might find in your credit history.

It pays big dividends to clean up your credit. For once the credit bureaus delete derogatory information that doesn't belong in your credit file, it's as if bankers and lenders will never know you had these derogatory marks in your past. You'll get a clean slate to start over again.

Another reader asks: "How do I dispute errors in my credit report?"

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