How to Check Your Credit Report for Errors
Have you ever had a drop in your credit score? That could be due to errors on your credit report. Your report is the credit history in a file that summarizes credit information from credit bureaus and other credit grantors.
A recent survey by Consumer Reports found that about one third of the survey participants had errors on their reports that needed to be fixed. Credit reports are one of the most important pieces of information that credit grantors will use to determine whether or not you are eligible for credit. If there is an error, it could lead credit grantors to reduce your available credit lines or stop giving you credit altogether.
Look Closely At Your credit.
AnnualCreditReport.com is a credit reporting agency approved by the major credit bureaus to access credit reports. You can check your credit data for errors and fraud annually for free by going to their website. You can also get credit reports more frequently – some credit card companies will even send one to you every month for a fee and display your credit score in your billing statements.
How Credit Scores Are Determined:
Think of your credit score as a snapshot from a camera. Your score will fluctuate from time to time, due to monthly changes in your credit. When credit bureaus pull your credit report, they look at what accounts you have open and whether or not you make on-time payments. Lenders can’t see errors, instead, credit grantors rely on credit scores to determine if you are creditworthy.
Dispute Any Errors Found:
In order for a credit reporting agency to investigate a potential credit inquiry, they must have all the necessary documentation from the consumer in their possession. The consumer is responsible for sending in a written notice disputing credit inaccuracies along with whatever documentation is needed regarding that specific claim.
Credit bureaus must investigate credit reporting disputes within 30 days of receiving the dispute letter. If they find that the credit report is incorrect, they are required to fix it or send you a written explanation of why it cannot be fixed. Often credit reporting errors are small and only effect the score slightly, but sometimes credit bureaus can be negligent and major credit reporting mistakes can occur. If this happens, you could have a serious problem and may need to take legal action.
Attorneys who specialize in credit disputes understand the complex credit laws and credit reporting policies; for this reason, disputes handled by an experienced attorney can be very helpful in resolving any credit reporting errors once and for all. In some case, lawsuits have been brought by attorneys against credit bureaus for failing to correct credit reporting errors under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
In conclusion, credit errors can have a major effect on your credit score and thus creditworthiness and credit accessibility. If you find credit reporting mistakes or errors, disputing credit inaccuracies is the only way to get credit bureaus to correct them.
This article was written by the Consumer Watch Team at Finn Law Group. Led by attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with a combined experience of more than 75 years. If you have questions about credit reporting issues and feel that you need legal assistance, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.