FIX YOUR CREDIT REPORT

Your credit report is one of the most important things impacting that can impact your financial life. This page is discusses your personal credit, which is different than your business credit. According to a report from Federal Trade Commission; one in four consumers’ credit reports has an error. Credit report mistakes can have dire consequences. Consumers may pay thousands of dollars more in interest over the lifetime of their loans due to errors that place them in a lower credit-rating category.

Obtain your free report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Before you can see your reports need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. If moved in the last two years, may have to provide your previous address.  To maintain the security of your file, you may be asked questions on existing or previous debts. Example like the amount of a credit card or car payment. The free reports will not have your credit score, only a financial transaction history of you.

When your report is open be sure to download it to your computer.  Once you close your browser it is hard to retrieve it.  Otherwise, you may be charged for another copy of your report within a 12-month period. (At the top of each report will see a report member. When you dispute your report with the separate agency.  You will be later asked to provide this number).

  • Name misspellings, often when family members share similar names
  • Duplicate accounts
  • Incorrect balances
  • Fraudulent accounts, especially if you’ve been a victim of identity theft
  • Information or accounts from an ex-spouse
  • Information or accounts from an ex-spouse
  • Incorrect payment status
  • Outdated information, like negative accounts over seven years old
  • More than one “delinquent” date on accounts in collections
  • People running your report without your permission

Once you identify your personal information, will be forwarded to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion websites (be sure to bookmark). Again you want to save your report by downloading to your computer.  If you see information on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete.

 If you spot an error in a credit report, you should use a formal dispute to report it to the credit bureau. Organize proof of the mistake (canceled checks or bank statement showing payments, proof of the spelling of your name, etc.), and dispute the error. This is completely free. Under the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit bureau must investigate the error and resolve the situation within 30 days (as long as they don’t see the request as frivolous).

TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
Phone disputes: 800-916-8800

Experian
P.O. Box 4500 Allen, TX 75013
Phone disputes: 888-397-3742

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone disputes 800-685-1111

Call center agents often are not equipped to provide consumers with the help they need. According to testimony provided by consumer advocates, the Credit Agencies have outsourced many of their call centers overseas to cut costs, some call center agents have been instructed to handle consumer complaint calls in four to six minutes.  Regardless of where they are or who you talk to, they won’t be much help.

The credit bureaus have 30 days from the date they receive your dispute request to complete their investigation. If the creditor cannot verify the accuracy of the account, late payment, balance or whatever you disputed, then they will delete that item. Removing derogatory mistakes can free your scores to go higher.  Once your report is clean, it is up to you to make sure good and accurate information is being reported.

SAMPLE DISPUTE LETTER

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