If you’re really ready to address the subject of bad credit, you are going to have to pull your actual credit report. Now, a lot of people know that but they forget a few things in the process. This means that while they want to improve their credit score and get more credit in the process, they end up falling short of their goals. So you will need to remember that there is more than one company that’s keeping track of all of your credit information. There are three main credit bureaus — Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. So you must make sure that you pull your report from all three agencies in order to really have a clear picture of what’s going on.

Keep in mind that these agencies don’t really share information well. So you might have really great information that’s not being reported on your credit report on the other two agencies. You can add information to your credit report — you just need to show evidence that it exists. This is another reason why we recommend getting all of your reports together.

If there is accurate information that’s unflattering, it generally has to stay there. The only way that negative information that is accurate can be removed from your credit report is if you enter into an agreement with the creditor or the collection agency reporting the issues. If you don’t do this, then you’re going to have a really hard time getting anything cleaned up at all.

If you suspect that there are fraudulent charges, you’re going to need to investigate further. Don’t let anyone tell you that fraud has to stay on your credit report. Even if you have bad credit, you might be surprised with the type of damage that people can wreak onto your finances anyway. Getting approvals for loans isn’t hard if you know where to go — and trust us, identity thieves definitely know where to go!

Your credit report should be considered a living thing — and this means that checking on it once a year just isn’t enough to make sure that your financial health is up to par. You will want to enroll in a service that actually lets you see what’s going on month after month. That’s the only way that you will have the power to really see what’s going on all year long. If you only stick to once a year, you never know what could be going on your credit report when you’re not looking.

Cracking your credit report means that you will have to sit down and really do some research into everything that’s there — even calling some numbers if that’s what it takes. You have the right to investigate your own information — and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!