20 Jun Clean As A Whistle
Establishing healthy credit is attainable for everyone who desires to have it. Credit repair is an economically intelligent decision because your credit report affects everything from loans and insurance to employ-ability. Whether the blemishes on your credit report are due to inaccurate reporting or negligence on your own part, you do not have to simply accept negative items on your credit report. These marks can bring down your score as well as your future financial prospects. We’ve put together a few suggestions to address removing information from your credit report, cleaning up your current credit situation, and protecting your credit in the future.
It may be surprising for some to know that more than one out of every four Americans has negative items appearing on their credit report that are not of their own doing. Usually, these mistakes happen as a result of clerical errors or information inadvertently pulled in about someone else. Regardless of how they happen, these mistakes can be costly. When reviewing your credit report annually, always verify that each account is actually yours and whether all of the negative items appearing did actually happen. If you find any errors, your next steps will be to contact the credit bureaus and the creditors.
Contact the Credit Bureaus
If you find errors on your credit report your first step will be to contact each of the three major credit reporting agencies to officially dispute each of the inaccurate items. The credit bureaus, by law, must investigate any and all inaccurate information. These investigations typically take place within a 30 day window.
It is possible to dispute inaccurate items with each of the bureaus on line. While on line dispute filing may be fast and convenient, it’s not always the best option. Mailing a letter with supporting documents instead, through certified mail with a return receipt requested, creates a paper trail and allows you to attach more documentation and explain where needed. Types of supporting documentation you may like to attach include copies of cancelled checks to show proof of payments you made or copies of your credit report with errors highlighted. In most cases a letter or dispute form is sufficient to have errors removed from your credit report. You can expect to receive a response from the bureaus acknowledging your dispute request and the resolution of your dispute.
Contact the Creditor
The information on your credit report does not originate with the credit bureau. The flow of information passes through your lenders, retail stores, banks, reporting agencies, and creditors. Consider contacting these sources directly to rectify inaccuracies and intercept the reporting of unfavorable information. Sometimes a simple explanation and request is all it takes to resolve issues at the source with retail stores, banks, and some lenders.
You will definitely want to inform your creditors and lending institutions of the information you are disputing. With this disclosure you should include copies of all documents to support your position. If a reporting agency reports the same information to a bureau again the agency must also include a notice of your dispute. You also have every right to request that the reporting agency copy you on all correspondence they send to the bureaus regarding you. This process can take up to 90 days.
Injecting yourself into the flow of information is a great way to monitor exactly what is being reported about you. It is your right to know what is being said about you and who it is being said to. It is your duty to manage this information with a healthy skepticism to protect your credit.