Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report

Did you know that more than 75% of credit reports have inaccuracies on them, with 25% of those errors being damaging enough to effect chances of credit and loan approval. To ensure that all of your information is correct and current, get a copy of your credit report.

One typical error is the listing of someone else on your credit file. This usually an accident. Another major problem is when someone take one your identity and opens up several credit accounts and loans in your name. Over 16 million people were victims of identity theft last year alone!

By law, any erroneous information on your credit report must be removed.  You will need to contact your Attorney General or your state's consumer protection bureau to find out what the laws and procedures are for your state. Also, credit agencies are required to provide you with contact information for submitting a request for an examination of bad information.

Once you request is submitted, the credit reporting agency has no more than thrity days to get back to you with a resolution. All relevant info must be taken into consideration. Incorrect information must be removed by the reporting bureau if it can not be verified. They must then provide you with a free copy of your credit report to confirm that the erroneous information has been removed. You can also entitled and should request that an updated copy of your credit report be sent to all parties that have requested your file in the last year.

Make sure that any letter you send to any credit reporting company are sent via certified mail and that you save copies for your own personal records.

If the reporting bureaus investigation is not positive for you, you are allowed to submit a 100-word explanation. This explanation will be listed in your credit report, even though the misinformation is still listed. This will help you reason the negative marks on your file. 

Be aware that it is possible for misinformation to get re-listed on your credit file after it has already been removed. If this happens, the reporting bureau is required by law to contact you within 5 days of re-including the information. They must also confirm with the reporting company to ensure that the data is accurate.

Even if you have had errors corrected in your report, it is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report at least once a year. This will help ensure that the information is not re-placed on your report and/or there is no new information present that is incorrect.

Dealing with identity theft?
If you have even the slightest concern that you are a victim of identity theft, you need to purchase a 3-in-1 credit report. This type of credit report is the most comprehensive available, with your information from each of the major credit bureaus. If your assumption is right, you need to file a fraud alert with the
credit bureaus. When the creditors listing the questionable activity receive the fraud alerts from the credit reporting agencies, they are supposed to contact you immediately to try and verify the account activity.

Some states will also allow you to freeze your credit report. Meaning, no one can access your credit report. Some states may also charge a fee for this.



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