Fixing your credit report and repairing your credit are two distinct processes and problems. Below are practical ways to fix your credit report if it’s wrong. Look through a magnifying glass 1. Check the identifying information. Sometimes they make a simple mistake (wrong name or social security number). 2. Review the credit accounts. The report might be for an account that is simply not yours. It may include delinquencies in old accounts that were closed. You should report the debt of your spouse before you’re married since it isn’t your responsibility and you don’t want it to affect your score. 3. Look through the list of inquiries. Any inquiries older than two years shouldn’t come up on a credit report. Also, inquiries you didn’t authorize, shouldn’t be factored into your credit. 4. Collections and public records. Look for judgments and bankruptcies older than seven years; neither should impact or be on your score. You can improve your credit score after filing for bankruptcy and qualify for a loan as long as you can prove you made payments on time consistently for the last two years. It’s easier to get your score restored when you can explain the circumstances that contributed to the bankruptcy. Proactive steps 1. Dispute the errors. Write a letter: include the account number, billing address and photocopied report with issues in dispute highlighted. Federal law requires a response within a set amount of time. 2. Pay current bills on time. 3. Don’t close your credit card or revolving account. 4. Apply for new credit sparingly.