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Can I really dispute errors on my credit report?
You didn’t think that you could really dispute errors on your credit report? Guess again, no american has to have a credit report that is not 100% accurate. Yep, 100% accurate! But unfortunately, by no fault of their own, millions of Americans walk around with errors on their credit report that need to be fixed or removed. According to Credit.com, “One in five Americans have an error on their credit report, according to a Federal Trade Commission study from 2012, so it’s not unlikely you’ll discover one yourself at some point. ”
What kind of inaccurate items are on credit reports?
You would be amazed at the items on your credit report that is incorrect and having incorrect items on your credit report can cause significant issues with how your credit is viewed and your FICO score. Things as simple as having misspelled/multiple names and addressed to accounts that should not even be on there find their way on your credit report that can cause you immediate to years of trouble if you don’t do anything about it.
What Can I Do To Fix My Credit Report Nightmare?
There are ways to fix your bad credit report by taking immediate action to correct them. And the first thing you want to do is get a copy of your credit report from places like CreditKarma.com and myFICO.com among others out there and pull a copy of your credit. You need to review the items on your credit report and make sure that it is 100% accurate. If your credit report is not accurate, you need to prepare to dispute the errors with the 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion, Equifax). The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows consumers to dispute information on their credit reports..for FREE! There are three ways to dispute items on your credit report that is inaccurate (remember, you should NEVER dispute accurate items on your credit and it could result in penalty if caught), you can contact the credit bureaus by using direct mail, by phone, also online. One of the ways we have seen with the most success is by direct mail, but any way should help in getting items fixed and if they can’t fix items that are inaccurate on your credit report, they legally must remove the items from your credit report. In many cases, it may take several times before the item is fixed, but do your best in the beginning to provide any documentation you can provide to state your case.
What Items On My Credit Report Can I Dispute?
Any item on your credit report can be disputed, but as stated earlier, stick to the inaccurate stuff. When compiling your list of inaccurate items, make sure to identify collections and late fees if you have them and make sure that they are accurate because collections on your credit report and late fees on your credit report has really bad impact on your credit and credit score. Here are things to you want to look out for to be sure that these items don’t show up on your credit report:
Personal Information Issues: Misspelled name, the wrong name, incorrect addresses from your past and present, the wrong employment information are definitely red flags to be on the look out for. You have to remember, data entry for these are still input by humans and with humans there is a very good chance that there will be errors and omissions. You could even be the victim of identity theft. Take it from a person who has been a victim of identity theft. It is not fun and there is a lot of paperwork to fill out to prove that the person who created fraudulent accounts was not you. I would rather get a root canal than have to deal with fixing identity theft credit report items.
Problem Accounts: Check the accounts, the account numbers, the creditor to ensure that the information is correct and without any discrepancies. Make sure that if there are any lates (30, 60, 120, etc), that they are also accurate. There is nothing fun about having a creditor say that you are late on a payment when you have documentation to show that you pay your bills on time.
Duration of Negative Information: According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, there are certain items that should be removed from your credit report after 7 years from the time of delinquency. So if a late or collection hasn’t dropped off after 7 years from the time it was reported, you should add this to your list of items to dispute on your credit report to improve your credit and credit score. There are items that may stay on your credit report longer, but be sure to stay up to date on the latest credit rules.
As stated before, getting inaccurate items removed from your credit report may not happen over night and can take months to have resolved. And you may have to contact the credit bureaus several times. Because one credit bureau fixes an issue, the other or others may not fix the same item at the same time.
One thing you may want to do is straighten out your credit report now before you want to make that home purchase, buy or lease a car, get a loan, or try to gain employment with a new company who checks your credit. And once you fix your credit, monitor your credit so that when items become inaccurate again…and they will again…you will be ready have the BIG 3 to get the items fixed or removed from your credit. And you will be amazed at how fixing derogatory items from your credit can have a positive impact on your credit score.
What is the Fair Credit Report Act?
The Fair Credit Report Act is U.S. Federal Government legislation enacted to promote the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of consumer reporting agencies. This act was created for consumers like you and I to protect us from creditor reporting inaccurate information to our credit reports. Most americans have some kind of inaccurate information on their credit reports that is due to neglect, omissions, and oversights, but that should not be an excuse. Because there are inaccuracies on our credit report, it can have huge impact on how other credits, employers, lenders view our credit worthiness. And one of the ways they evaluate our credit worthiness is by evaluating our FICO score that can change monthly, weekly, and daily. It is enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and private litigants.