Correcting credit report errors involve keeping in touch with credit reporting agencies and your creditors, which you can do yourself. Don’t be tempted to contact a credit repair company that promises to remove bad information from your credit report because only inaccurate, negative information can be removed.
If you have just received your credit report and it wasn’t what you expected, then you will want to know which steps you should now take to fix the inaccuracies. The following are tips to correct mistakes on your credit report that you can take to improve your credit score.
Reasons to Consider Correcting Credit Report Information
You might be contemplating why there is a need to correct your credit report. Well, if you don’t have anymore plans of loaning then you can disregard it.
However, if you are still planning to start with your family as to building a house, buying a car and owing a lot then here are the two major reasons why: a clerical error in recording your payments at one of your creditors and you might be a victim of identity theft. And this wrong information will remain for about seven years in your credit record.
When credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, have bad information about you, this will affect lenders that will give their decisions on your loan application. And for you to get approval with the best interest rates, you need to fix your credit report errors.
Steps to Correcting Credit Report Errors
Correcting credit report errors involve reviewing your credit report. If you spot a dozen errors along the way this simple method can help. Make a list of every detail you consider questionable or negative. Write a letter to dispute the errors and send it to the creditor. Here are the steps in details:
Ask for a copy of your report. Get copies of your FICO credit scores and credit reports from any of the three bureaus to understand all your credit history. Note that you may have to pay a small fee for this. But if you make your request at the AnnualCreditReport.com, you can get a free copy of all of your credit reports once every 12 months.
Check if there are mistakes. Look for some inaccuracies or errors in your credit report. For example, your credit limit is showing as $8, 000 instead of $10, 000. This might also happen to you: you missed one bill payment because you moved but without informing your creditor about your new address, or, someone might have fraudulently opened an account under your name.
Write a letter to the Credit Bureau. Indicate the items that are incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete and explain why it is so in a letter. Enclose your complete name, address, birth date and Social Security number and documents to prove your claim. Via registered mail, send the letter. The agency will investigate for thirty days to respond to your letter.
Write a letter to Your Creditor. It is also important to contact the financial institution that forwarded wrong facts to the reporting agency. You can send them a similar letter you sent to Equifax, TransUnion or Experian. Send them your letter with copies of evidence documents to verify your claim — but don’t send them the original one. After a few weeks, remember to follow-up by calling them and asking your status.
Correcting credit report is a learning process. You will need to find out effective ways to raise your credit and you will have to consistently apply them to your life to alter your spending, saving, and bill-paying habits.