Credit bureaus and financial experts urge consumers to review their personal credit report annually. If possible, you should obtain a copy of your report every six months. Credit report errors affect millions of people each year. Furthermore, the consequences of identity theft are serious. Sadly, some consumers feel invincible. Even if you take precautions to protect yourself from identity theft – shredding important documents, avoiding shady online deals, etc – there is no foolproof method to prevent credit report inaccuracies. On the other hand, if you detect a mistake early, there are measures you can take to correct errors and restore credit rating.
Unfortunately, those who neglect credit monitoring usually discover credit report errors at inopportune times. Perhaps while attempting to secure financing for a home loan, car loan, or applying for a credit card. While some errors are minor, and have little negative effect on your credit score, other errors may significantly decrease your credit rating. Making it impossible to obtain credit.
Credit report errors occur when a creditor reports incorrect information. In some cases, another person’s debt will appear on your report. If you have a common name, perhaps John Williams, the odds of credit report errors occurring is higher. Unpaid medical bills, utility bills, collection accounts, judgments, and liens may erroneously appear on your report. Although credit report inaccuracies are common, and affect innocent people, prospective lenders will not take a gamble. Hence, resolving the matter is paramount to acquiring credit.
Request Copy of Credit Report. To detect credit report errors, you must regularly monitor your credit. Obtaining a copy of your personal credit report is necessary. Request copies from all three bureaus. This way, you ensure all information is accurate. Every consumer is issued one free report annually. However, you may request additional copies throughout the year for a small fee. For your convenience, credit reports are viewable online.
Carefully Review Credit Report. Upon obtaining a copy of your report, carefully review all information. The report will list past and current credit accounts, balances due, and current standing with creditors. Compare credit report balances with current credit card statements. Underline incorrect information. Some creditors report updated information to credit bureaus monthly. However, some report every few month. Minor balance inaccuracies may not require investigation. On the other hand, if your current credit card balance is $500, but your credit report lists a current balance of $1500, resolving this inaccuracies may improve your rating. Furthermore, take note of unrecognizable accounts that appear on your report.
Contacting Creditors and Credit Bureaus. Correcting a credit report inaccuracy is a lengthy process. In addition, is may be challenging to prove errors. Initially, credit bureaus may attempt to evade your concerns. By law, credit bureaus must respond to every complaint. Nonetheless, bureaus receive thousands of inquiries daily. With this said, be patient.
You may be able to quickly resolve a credit error by contacting the reporting creditor.
Creditors will usually admit errors and report accurate account information. If someone else’s information is included on your report, the bureau will investigate the claim. If a telephone number or creditor information is included, contact the creditor and notify them of their mistake. You must prove you’re not the person who incurred the debt. If the creditor is unwilling to help, you may achieve faster results working with an attorney or credit repair agency.
Once a creditor admits to their error, request an updated account statement. If necessary, forward a copy of this statement to the credit bureaus. This proves that information listed on your report is inaccurate. If the creditor fails to correct errors, the bureaus may update your credit report. Additionally, if creditors are uncooperative, you may include a personal statement responding to a creditor’s negative remark.
Maintaining an accurate credit report is essential to building a good credit history. Other tips to help boost your credit score and obtain future credit with little hassle include:
– Keep Credit Card Balance Low
– Avoid Accumulating Excessive Debt
– Do Not Keep Balances at the Maximum Limit
– Attempt to Payoff Credit Card Balances Monthly
– Maintain Timely Payments