Fix Credit Report Errors Fast
Got a low credit score even though you never miss a payment, pay your bills on time and stay below your credit limits? Your low score then may be due to errors on your credit report; errors that you had nothing to do with and know nothing about.
If your credit report does contain errors, the financial burden is on you to prove it and get the credit bureau to reverse it. Credit reporting agencies are not in the business to fix credit report errors. They are in the business of reporting financial information and generating a credit score based on that financial information. If they receive inaccurate information they would not know it because they do not check it, that’s your responsibility.
Step #1 – Awareness: Determine Where You Stand
Do you know your credit score? Is it accurate? What was it last year? Has it changed much? Get to know your credit score. If you do not know your baseline credit score how would you know if your credit has been tampered with? The credit industry has made it very easy to monitor your own credit score, all you have to do is make it happen. You can order a free credit report once a year from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian). Each of these agencies analyze credit information differently so be sure to order your credit report from each of them.
Step #2 – Action: Things To Review
Credit experts say that more than half of the errors that end of damaging your credit score are the result of credit reporting agencies processing wrong information. All the more reason to self-monitor your credit reports
- Unknown names and addresses, may be a sign that you are being mixed up with someone else
- Accounts listed on your report that you never opened, another signal that your information is being mixed up with someone else’s
- Late payments that you know you made on time
- Excessive debt that you know is not yours, identity theft may be the reason
- Credit inquiries for loans you never applied for, identity theft perhaps
Step #3 – Action: Dispute It
If you find any financial information on your credit report that is out of place you can dispute it. You can do it online but you are better off sending your documentation certified mail. If you do it online you cannot include the documentation necessary to make your case.
Your documentation should include: a highlighted copy of your credit report, a typed explanation of the error (brief and to the point) and any other supporting documents. You improve your chances of a quick response by making it as easy as possible for the credit agency to understand. If you documentation is confusing, too overwhelming or your explanation does not make sense, they may hold it up. If you are applying for a loan or mortgage waiting to finalize a credit report dispute is the last thing you need.