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Credit Report Maintenance

Good credit is important, now and in the future. In most cases, it takes seven years for accurate, negative information to be deleted from a credit report. Bankruptcy information takes even longer to be deleted - 10 years.

Know What Creditors Look for on Credit Reports

Understanding what types of information most creditors evaluate is important. Your credit report is a key part of your credit score, but it is not the only factor. You get points for other things like:

  • Your bill-paying history
  • How many accounts you have and what kind
  • Late payments
  • Longevity of accounts
  • The unused portions of lines of credit
  • Collections actions
  • Outstanding debt

You should periodically review your credit reports so you will be aware of the information your creditors are looking at.

Keep Credit Cards Under Control

Whether you shop online, by telephone or by mail, a credit card can make buying many things much easier; but when you use a credit card, it's important to keep track of your spending. Incidental and impulse purchases add up, and each one you make with a credit card is a separate loan. When the bill comes, you have to pay what you owe. Owing more than you can afford to repay can damage your credit rating.

Keeping good records can prevent a lot of headaches, especially if there are inaccuracies on your monthly statement. If you notice a problem, promptly report it to the company that issued the card. Usually the instructions for disputing a charge are on your monthly statement. If you order by mail, by telephone or online, keep copies and printouts with details about the transaction.

These details should include the company's name, address and telephone number; the date of your order; a copy of the order form you sent to the company or a list of the stock codes of the items ordered; the order confirmation code; the ad or catalog from which you ordered (if applicable); any applicable warranties; and the return and refund policies.

Finally, if you have a credit card, take the following precautions:

  • Never lend it to anyone.
  • Never sign a blank charge slip. Draw lines through blank spaces on charge slips above the total so the amount can't be changed.
  • Never put your account number on the outside of an envelope or on a postcard.
  • Always be cautious about disclosing your account number on the telephone unless you know the person you're dealing with represents a reputable company.
  • Always carry only the cards you anticipate using to prevent the possible loss or theft of all your cards or identification.
  • Always report lost or stolen ATM and credit cards to the card issuers as soon as possible. Follow up with a letter that includes your account number, when you noticed the card was missing, and when you first reported the loss.

Protect Your Identity

Identity theft involves someone else using your personal information to create fraudulent accounts, charge items to another person's existing accounts, or even get a job. You can minimize the risks by managing your personal information wisely and cautiously. Here are some ways to protect yourself from identity theft:

  • Before you reveal any personally identifying information, find out how it will be used and whether it will be shared.
  • Pay attention to your billing cycles. Follow up with creditors if your bills don't arrive on time.
  • Guard your mail from theft. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes or at your local post office. Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after it has been delivered. If you're planning to be away from home and can't pick up your mail, call the U.S. Postal Service toll-free at 1-800-275-8777, or visit www.usps.gov to request a vacation hold.
  • When possible, put passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number or telephone number, or a series of consecutive numbers. It's a good idea to keep a list of your credit card issuers and their telephone numbers.
  • Don't give out personal information on the telephone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you've initiated the contact or you know whom you're dealing with.
  • Protect personal information in your home. For example, tear or shred documents like charge receipts, copies of credit offers and applications, insurance forms, physician's statements, discarded bank checks and statements, and expired credit cards before you throw them away. Be cautious about leaving personal information in plain view, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having service work done.
  • Find out who has access to your personal information at work and verify that the records are kept in a secure location.
  • Never carry your Social Security card; leave it in a secure place at home. Give out your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary.
  • Order your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies every year to make sure it is accurate and includes only those activities you've authorized.
  • Carry only the identification that you actually need.

Important: The articles, illustrations, testimonials, and examples given in this website are in no way indicative of the actual changes you may experience by using Riverwalk Credit Solution's Credit Enhancement process. In keeping with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Riverwalk will only dispute inaccurate, outdated, and erroneous items in your credit profile. No specific outcome is expressed, implied or promised, and your actual results may vary. Factors contributing to these variations can include new inquiries, opening new tradelines, the addition of new derogatory accounts, and fluctuating balances on existing revolving accounts. Credit Enhancement may not be available in all states.

* $99/month for 6 months

Copyright © 2012-2015 Riverwalk Credit Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Riverwalk Credit Solutions (A wholly-owned subsidiary of Riverwalk Financial Corporation) offers a 6-month credit enhancement program that will help clients attempt to achieve a 100% accurate credit report with all three of the major credit bureaus. With an astonishingly low price of $99 a month for only 6 months, we have set the bar in the credit enhancement industry for full-service credit enhancement, as compared to over $1,000 by some other companies. Through Riverwalk Credit, consumers now have access to a credit enhancement program that does not sacrifice quality for economy, but offers the same benefits of a full-service credit enhancement program without the bloated price.

According to a study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, nearly 80% of Americans have inaccurate information on their credit reports. Riverwalk Credit's program consists of disputing these inaccuracies, while following the rules set in place by the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Riverwalk Credit, which has already helped thousands of clients across the US, is constantly assessing its clients' needs and financial goals throughout the credit enhancement process. Upon completion of the program, a client has multiple opportunities to learn about other financial tools that can help them reach their life goals, including free consultations with a loan officer, a home builder, and a real estate agent. For many, Riverwalk Credit's $99 a month Credit Enhancement program is more than just credit enhancement, it's a path to financial freedom.