Finding and Fixing Credit Report Errors
Your credit report it your most valuable tool when determining what kind of loans you will be able to get. What your report says about your financial history impacts what lenders will allow you to borrow and can ultimately determine what kind of home or car you can buy. A 3-in-1 credit report will allow you to look at all three major credit bureau reports at one time. This is the best type of report because merchants might not report to all three bureaus.
So, you get your credit report and you notice charges that don’t belong to you. Or maybe a store said you didn’t pay something off that you truly did. Errors in credit reports are common, but the good news is, you can do something to fix them. The first thing you need to do is actually get a copy of your 3-in-1 credit report. Then study it. Find any errors or anything that looks suspicious. Identity theft is the big problem and you shouldn’t be shy about checking odd charges or inquiries.
You’ve looked over your report and you notice that there is an error. First things first, do not panic. If you get upset and start calling lenders and stores to complain about your report, you won’t get anywhere. Be sure as you go through the process that you write down everything – who, what, when, where, and why – so that you have an accurate record later. Your first action should be to write a letter to the agency or agencies informing them of the problem, what evidence you have to dispute the problem, and provide a copy of your credit report. You may choose to use a credit dispute form to make this process easier.
Next, contact the lender or merchant that reported the error and give them the same information including copies of supporting documents. Now the fun part…wait 30 days. The agency has 30 days to get back to you with an answer. If you do not hear from them within 30 days, call the customer service department. If the agency decides to make a change, they will send you a new copy of your report. If they decide not to include a change, you can at least send them a statement about the situation to include in your report.
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Disclaimer: This site provides general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be taken to be, legal, financial or other professional advice for your situation. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.