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The official government website is located at At this site you will be able to obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year. However, it will not provide you with your credit scores.

Raising Your Credit Scores by Rebuilding Your Credit

Many people think they have to pay off all their bad debt in order to raise their credit scores.  When really they need to be rebuilding new good credit.

I recently reviewed a person's credit report that thought his credit was all messed up from a previous divorce.  When, in fact, he was not in that bad of shape and improving his credit scores was very doable.

He had purchased a new car nine months previously and had made all his payments on time.  But, that was the only new, active credit that he had.

He had five other charge off items in his credit file.  One was a small bill to a public utility which he could easily pay off.  One was a medical bill that was several years old and I advised him to leave it alone.  To his surprise there was an outstanding balance showing for a car that his ex-wife had kept after the divorce and later totaled in a wreck. He knew that this balance should have been covered by his car insurance, and it probably was.  He just needed to follow up on this item with the insurance company and get it cleared up.

The other two items where credit card balances on cards that were previously used by his ex-wife.  I advised him to contact these collection agencies and ask for a settlement and get them paid off.

But, more importantly he needed to establish additional new credit and make all his payments on time with regards to this new credit.

He could simply get a standard Visa/Mastercard credit card, a credit card for one of the gasoline companies like Shell, BP, Chevron and/or he could establish credit at a local retailer like Lowe's, Sears or Home Depot.  He needs to use these credit cards for small purchases and simply make the payments on time each month.

Being diligent about doing these few things can put his credit scores back in good standing within nine to 12 months.  By then he would have 18 plus months of payments on his car as well. 

He was planning on getting married in about nine months and wanted to get in a position to get a mortgage on a new home for them shortly thereafter.  If he will follow up with these few simple tasks he will be able to meet his goals.

It will pay you to check your credit scores and report before you just assume you can't do things that you would really like to do because of your credit history. 

You can get a free credit report government which will allow you to initially view everything which is being reported to your credit file.  This will not give you free credit scores from all three bureaus but it will show you the entries that you need to work on.  Just don't forget that you need to establish new credit as well and not just pay off all your collection items.

If you have credit where you have a number of late payments it is vitally important that you start making your payments on time.  After you have done this for 12 months or so you might try contacting the creditor and asking that they clear the older late payments showing on your credit report.  Politely explain your circumstances that made you late and state what has changed that has allowed you to be on time since then and into the future.

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