In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of knowing your credit score along with some tips for raising or maintaining your score. But what if you feel like you are doing everything right and still have a poor score? This kind of issue could be chalked up to an error in your report.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both the credit reporting company and the information provider are responsible for fixing inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take advantage of your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider.
To correct an inaccurate credit report:
- Dispute the inaccurate information directly with the consumer reporting agency and maybe even with the provider of the information. Credit reporting companies must investigate the items in question within 30 days and must forward all the data you provide regarding the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider becomes aware of a dispute from the credit reporting company, it must investigate and review the relevant information to report back to the credit reporting company. If the information provider finds that there has been an error, they must notify all three nationwide credit reporting bureaus so the information can be corrected in your file.
- Tell them in writing what you believe is inaccurate and provide as much proof as you can, including copies of documents to support your position. Your letter should clearly identify each disputed item in the report, state the facts, explain why you dispute the information and request that it be corrected. You should also enclose a copy of your report with the items in question circled. Keep copies of everything that you send!
After any disputes have been filed, you should follow up to ensure the dispute has been resolved. When an investigation is complete, the credit reporting company is required to give you the results in writing along with a free copy of your report if any information was changed.
If there is an inaccuracy in your credit report that has been sent to employers, businesses or insurance agencies, don’t worry! You can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who received a copy in the recent past.
When it comes to correcting errors on your credit report, you have to be your own advocate. Follow the tips above for the best chance of fixing your credit score, and remember to stay relaxed.
Suggested Web links for more information about your credit score:
Your Access to Free Credit Reports
How to Dispute Credit Report Errors
To Obtain Your Free Credit Report