Do you think you’ve found an error on your credit report? It happens. The good news is if you do find an error, you can take action and get it removed. A lot of people don’t even realize their credit reports have an error or errors. In the beginning stages of credit repair, you might find that your credit should be better than your reports read. Credit report errors are more common than you may think. 26% of participants in a study by the Federal Trade Commission found at least one error on their credit report. Errors can hurt your ability to get loans, new lines of credit, and favorable lending terms and interest rates.
Common Mistakes that Lead to Credit Report Errors
- A clerical error was made in reading or entering your name or address information from a hand-written application.
- Loan or credit card payments were inadvertently applied to the wrong account.
- Accounts were reported more than once, making it appear you have more open lines of credit or higher debt than you do.
- After closing an account, the report reads “closed by grantor” making it appear as if the creditor closed the account and not you.
- Former spouses debts are on your report
- Bad debts older than seven years should be removed
- Identity thieves may have gotten a hold of your information.
How to Fix Credit Report Mistakes
The first step to a timely correction is contacting both the credit bureau and organization that provided the information to the bureau. Both parties are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
All three credit bureaus do accept the filing of disputes online. However, you have to be very careful or you could waive your right to dispute accounts in the future.
Tell the credit bureau what you believe to be a mistake. The credit bureau must investigate the item(s) in question within 30 days unless they determine your dispute to be false. Make sure to include copies of documents that support your case. Provide your complete name and address along with:
- Each disputed item clearly identified within your report.
- Clearly state why you’re disputing the information.
- Request a deletion or correction
What if You Disagree with the Credit Bureau’s Decision?
A credit bureau investigation will not always turn out in your favor. If that happens, ask the credit bureau to include your statement of the dispute in your file and in future reports. You can also request that the credit bureau provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report before your statement was added to your file. They may charge you for this.
Ultimately, if the investigation does not produce fair results and your credit report is causing you harm, you may consider working with a credit repair agency that can help you mount a better defense. In many cases, a good credit repair agency can take over communications for you and expedite the process removing mistakes from your credit report and getting your credit score back on track.
Call Today for a Free Credit Repair Consultation
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