What are the steps to review and improve my credit score?

First, you need to get your credit reports from the three big credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Thankfully, you can obtain all of them for free (at least once a year). Click here for a Google search that will get you to the appropriate websites for these credit reporting agencies..

Once you've obtained the reports, you need to print and carefully review them. There simply is no substitute for a line-by-line review. Mark any questionable items with a highlighter.

Then, you need to get your actual FICO score associated with Fair Isaac Corporation. This company is by far the largest and best known of several companies that provide software for calculating your credit score. The report that contains your actual score is not free, but many of the sites will offer this report for less than $10.00. Pay that one-time fee and get your FICO score. (Married couples, you need two, one for each spouse.)

FICO scores range from 301 to 850. If your score is 800 and above, congratulations! You are exceedingly creditworthy and don't need any improvement. And, if your score is below 550, I'm not sure that anyone can help you in the short term. Pay your bills on time and throw away your credit cards.

But, like millions of people, if your score is in the 600's and lower 700's, and you have lots of highlights on those credit reports, sure, something can be done—right now—to improve your credit score.

There is no need to sign up for a program with costly monthly fees stretched over months and months. You want your credit score to be cleaned up in just a few weeks, and not months and months.

And, you should not be interested in a credit "repair" agency, either. They're the ones who try to consolidate your debts, and don't necessarily focus on immediately improving your credit score.

Rather, you want to engage a fully state licensed and bonded credit improvement company, whose sole focus is to improve your credit score by cleaning up your credit reports. This kind of professional service charges a reasonable one-time fee.

So BEFORE you apply for that loan, credit card, insurance, job, rental, etc., you should fix your credit score and improve your creditworthiness.

Look, call me at (513) 739-7899. As an attorney, I keep everything confidential. Or, email me at (anti-SPAM). You have no obligation to engage my services. Referrals are always appreciated and welcomed.

Illegitimi non carborundum.