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As soon as you open your first line of credit, even if it is just for a store credit card, you should start monitoring your credit report. Unfortunately for most of us, it doesn't take much for our credit to spin completely out of control. The bad news is that, should this happen, there is no way to clear your credit (at least, no legal way). There are ways to repair your credit and to consolidate your finances, but you won't ever be able to completely clear your credit.

Most items on your credit report are going to be there for at least seven years. This goes for the accounts that are in good standing as well as the bad and the credit reporting agencies take everything into account when they figure out your credit score. If you want to clear your credit, the best way to do this is to keep track of your debt and to make sure your credit does not get damaged. In the event that your credit has been damaged or you are starting to feel strangled by your debt, here are a few things you can do.

Get a copy of your credit report. Every American is allowed on free credit report every year. The best way to get your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies is by going to, the only consumer credit report provider that has been endorsed by the federal government. Another way to obtain your credit report is to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies directly.

Once you get your credit report, go over it! Make sure that the report is accurate. Challenge every single mistake you find, no matter how trivial you think it might be. Pay special attention to the accounts that show outstanding balances. Contact each of these companies in writing and ask them to validate your debt. There are sample letters available on the internet. Once you ask a company to validate your debt, they have thirty days to respond (make sure you send the letter via certified mail and get proof of delivery). Any accounts that were not validated must be removed from your credit report. Let the credit reporting agencies know that the debts are not valid (send copies of your certified validation request) and ask that the account be removed from your report.

Lastly, look at your validated debts. Contact the companies that you owe money too and work out payment arrangements. Most companies are more than happy to work with people who are making an effort to pay them what they owe. Work out a payment arrangement you both can be happy with and stick to it.

While this isn't the same as a how to on how to clear your credit, you will end up fixing your credit which is just as important. Your credit is an ever evolving entity. You can't clear your credit but you can make sure that it is perfect.

Credit in Minutes Tip #1

Stay on top of your credit report. Most credit reports contain errors. Make sure you check your credit report every year (you get one free credit report every twelve months) and if there are errors make sure to challenge them with the reporting credit agency. Credit agencies are required to investigate each and every challenge that gets reported.

Credit in Minutes Tip #2

Just because you qualify for all of those credit cards does not mean you should get them. A person with too many credit cards looks sketchy in the eyes of a potential creditor. Think of it this way: if a person is financially stable does he or she need ten different credit cards? Wouldn’t just one or two suffice?

Credit in Minutes Tip #3

The best way to raise your credit score is to make all of your payments on time. It sounds too simple to be true, but that’s all there really is to it. Staying out of debt and/or making all of your debt payments on time will keep your score up where it should be.

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