How to fight errors in your credit report
A well-designed dispute letter can help prevent rejection, the next time you apply for credit.
You’ve probably heard of “sticker shock”, but what about the shock of rejection of credit? This can happen when you apply for a new line of credit – a credit card airline miles new, or maybe even a mortgage – only to find yourself rejected for reasons you can not understand. Worse, when you get a good look at your credit report, you will find that you have entered do not even recognize, let alone agree with.
How do you fix something that was listed on your permanent record by one (or all) of these credit bureaus huge? Does this mean your credit is forever doomed? For starters, there is no need to panic, or anger. Unfortunately the errors on credit reports are not so rare. And even if it’s a pain in the neck, there are steps you can take to rectify the situation. This is the most important to be persistent, and document the process.
Know What You’re Up Against
Get a copy of your credit report from all three major agencies. You can do so online or by phone each of the major services: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Each credit report is divided into several sections, including a section covering personal information, requests for credit reports, accounts in good standing, elements of credit and potentially negative elements.
Analyze each of the three reports thoroughly and determine the accuracy of all information they contain. Much of what is on the report should be known to you as a loan you out, what you are looking for is errors. Make a list of all the elements that you feel doubtful or negative errors. (Also note the differences between the three credit reports). This will give you a start on solving problems and potentially improve your credit rating.
Documents and Disputes
If you find errors on your actual report, there are several steps that must be taken to resolve them. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the credit reporting agencies are responsible to correct inaccuracies and incomplete information on credit reports. This allows you the freedom (and responsibility) to contact the reporting agencies, which publish documents, to correct any inaccuracies you find.
Write a Dispute Letter
When writing your letter of dispute to credit bureaus, be sure to include a clear explanation of your reasoning, and any relevant evidence or documentation that helps support your case. You should make photocopies of all your correspondence, and be sure to send everything by registered or certified mail, so you’ll have a record of when it was sent and received.
Stay in Touch
When you contact the agency, it is necessary to consider the issue within 30 days. The agency will pass on the dispute and information in it to the entity (person, company or other organization) who provided information to credit agencies in the first place. The information provider must also investigate the complaint and present its findings to the reporting agency.
If it is deemed that you are correct, then the change is made on your credit report and you should have a more accurate credit report. If your dispute is not resolved, for any reason, you can request that your case statement included with your credit report when someone accesses your report.
Keep a Paper Trail
As you start to send letters and formally challenge your creditors and / or credit bureaus, you will need to create a good system organized as a list or spreadsheet to keep track of all correspondence and where Each issue stands. This may seem exaggerated, but it might be useful, but often it takes repeated phone calls and letters before you come to a resolution, it is useful to have records of earlier times that you have written or called, as well that copies or notes on the response of the company all the time.
Whenever you have a telephone conversation with a creditor, be sure to record the date and time, name and title of the person you spoke, and all that was agreed in the future. Even after you’ve managed to resolve an error, it’s a good idea to keep your documents for at least a few years, it is not uncommon for an article you’ve worked hard to remove in a way, one day, reappear. That’s when having a paper trail will be invaluable.
Negative, But Accurate
If some information on your report is unpleasant, but accurate, then unfortunately you can not clear – unless you were never notified of the problem. If you have never been informed, then you are entitled to challenge the report, available through a new credit operations fairly and accurately the law of 2003 (FACTA). You disagree with this type of situation the same way you do with the errors shown above.
If, after much time and work the disputed item has not been removed or altered to your satisfaction, you can go back to steps 1, 2 and 3, and start over. There is no fee to request a new investigation. If you really feel that you have been injured and offices / agencies will not help you, it may be time to contact a lawyer. It’s when you’ll be glad you made sure to track and record all documents attention you have been keeping your efforts to this point. If you have a late payment or penalty that is still in dispute, but you can not get the office to move on it, you can take some comfort in knowing that these marks will be erased completely negative in seven years .
Always Another Day
Finally, do not fight people up.Many are in the position of having to dispute a credit report. The key is to be organized and polite, but persistent. The steps seem easy enough, but you must have patience because the credit bureaus are not always very cooperative. Obviously, your own credit report is your # 1 concern and you must treat it as such, but the credit companies and offices have other priorities, so you should keep it and stay on top of things you the same. Above all, the infallible remedy for the shock of rejection of credit.