Credit reports are important. They help you get mortgages, jobs, apartments, cars, and insurance, among other things. Be responsible about credit to maintain a high rating, but don't just assume that your report accurately reflects your credit management. There are often errors. (By the way, you can now access your credit report for free.)

If there are errors on your credit report, you can have them corrected. First, though, you'll need to get hold of your report, so you can review it. You'll find some guidance on doing just that in our Credit Center.

Somewhere in the report, often at the end, there should be instructions on how to dispute anything that you believe is an error. Often, it's just a matter of filling out a "research request" asking the credit agency to look into the issue and make a correction.

Note that sometimes on your report you may see things that make you wince but are not, unfortunately, errors. If your credit history is less than pristine, don't despair -- there are things you can do to improve your credit rating.

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And while you're getting your financial house in order, if you've got short-term money to invest, learn how to make the most of it by visiting our Savings Center, which offers Fools some special deals on interest rates.