How to Dispute Items on Your Credit Report
Your credit report contains information regarding your address, spending habits, payment history, arrest record, and any bankruptcies you may have filed. It can be accessed by possible employers, lenders, landlords, and other companies or persons who feel the need to check your credit history.
Usually there are no problems with a credit report. They’re accurate, current and complete. Occasionally, there are errors. When these errors occur, you might lose a job opportunity, a chance at a new house, or a car loan. That’s why you need to keep an eye on your credit report and check it regularly. By law, the major credit reporting agencies must provide you with a free copy of your report once every twelve months, if you ask for it. Additionally, if you’re denied a loan or job due to a poor credit report, you’re guaranteed by law to receive a free copy of your credit report from the company that provided it.
Keeping tabs on your credit score will help keep it current, accurate and as low as possible. The lower your credit score, the lower your interest on new loans. If your credit report is clean, you’ll find getting a loan is simple and costs less. Watching your credit report can also help prevent identity theft, as you will notice if someone tries to start an account with your personal information.
If you find an error on your report, the key is to be thorough. You can have the error removed, but you need to go through the proper channels. It takes preparation and patience to correct mistakes and inconsistencies. Follow these steps.
To have an error removed, you must first report it to the credit reporting firm. Do this in writing and be sure to get a return receipt indicating the item was mailed by you and received by them. Include a letter explaining which charge or charges you believe to be inaccurate. Include written documentation to prove your case. The more proof you have, the better your case will go and the faster it will be decided. The reporting company must investigate all reports of inaccuracies. Their report on your dispute must be provided to you free of charge. If the investigation results in a change in your credit report, the reporting company must provide you with a free copy of your new report.
If your case is not decided in your favor, go to the provider who originally made the loan or approved the charge. Send them a written report detailing why the charge is inaccurate. Once again, include any written documentation to make your case. Your provider must report that you have disputed the charge on any future credit reports.
Your credit report can be your ally, provided you keep it high and keep your eye on it. Report any suspected inaccuracies immediately and completely. Your credit score is too important to risk any errors. Luckily, they’re usually correctable.