Are you sure bad credit won’t stand in the way of you buying a new house? In a Consumer Reports study, 34% of participants found errors in their credit reports.
Have you checked your credit report recently? Poor credit ratings affect many areas of personal and business negotiations. So it’s important you review your credit history to prevent damaged credit.
Be proactive, but don’t panic if your credit report is wrong. Stay mindful of 5 essential next steps after finding a credit reporting error.
How Can I Review My Credit Report?
There are three major credit reporting bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Under normal circumstances, you’re entitled to one free report a year from each agency. But recent data breaches allow for free weekly reports from AnnualCreditReport.com until April 20, 2022.
What Are Common Credit Report Errors?
Debit and credit are the usual payment methods used these days. But that activity can lead to poor record-keeping by creditors. It can also result in stolen identities.
This can cause any number of reporting issues, including:
- Balance errors
- Data management errors
- Account status errors
- Personal information errors
Correcting a credit report error can prove daunting. But having just one of these errors could lower your credit score.
How Do I Correct My Credit Report?
You’re not the only one inquiring about how to fix a credit report. And here’s how some of the best credit repair companies suggest you correct your credit report:
1. Check Credit Reports From All Three Bureaus
Don’t underestimate the importance of tracking all three bureaus. You may find minor differences since not all creditors report across the board. But whether there’s an error on one, two, or all, common credit errors can damage your credit.
2. Contact the Creditors
You can have some errors corrected faster by reaching out to the creditor directly. Report what you found and state a case for why you believe it’s an error. Valid errors could get corrected faster this way.
You will need to contact the credit bureau if the issue is under their control, such as with identity errors.
3. Collect Evidential Documentation
Be proactive about gathering information to avoid time loss in resolving your dispute. Have government-issued identification and proof of residence handy. You may need bank statements, vital record certificates, and credit card statements, as well.
For an identity theft claim, you’ll need a copy of your Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report.
4. File Your Dispute
Submit your dispute claim online to expedite bureau research. You must file one with each credit bureau reporting an error. All three agencies have online support.
5. Confirm Updates to Your Credit Report
Should the credit agency or creditor consider your claim valid, they have 30 days to research. They should report back to you within five days of resolution. But if you don’t hear from them, follow up as needed.
And if the dispute resolves in your favor, confirm your credit reports again.
Don’t Let a Credit Report Error Ruin Your Credit
The presumption of innocence doesn’t apply to credit report findings. Don’t get turned down for a loan for no fault of your own. Start monitoring your credit today and dispute each credit report error.
If you found this information helpful, explore our site for more advice from our finance team.