As most consumers know or have experienced, inaccurate information on credit reports is more common than you think. Having these errors cost you thousands of dollars in higher interest rates then you should have on when applying for loans and credit cards. According to TheCRAGroup.com, in 2004, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 79% of credit report surveys contained errors made by either a creditor or the credit bureau.
Many common errors include:
- Incorrect reporting from the creditor to the credit bureaus of a nonpayment or late payment of a loan or debt.
- Misfiling by a department store credit line.
- A mix up between family members with the same name: For instance, Bob White Sr.'s irresponsible bill paying could be added on Bob White Jr.'s credit report.
- Accounts opened without your approval by someone committing identity theft (watch out for accounts that you do not recognize and/or weird addresses listed on your report such as P.O mail boxes). Ways of correcting these common errors include the following:
- First go to AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only site where you can download a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Be weary of other sites offering free credit reports. There is usually a catch.
- Write a letter to the credit bureaus detailing the inaccurate information and state that you want it removed.
- Make a copy of that letter and mail it to the creditor who reported the inaccurate information. (Tip: Send both copies of the letter as certified mail with return receipt requested to the three credit bureaus and your creditors).
- Monitor your credit reports carefully to make sure the information you wanted taken off was removed.
- Maintain records for everything! Keep copies of all mail relating to the situation. Write down names and phone numbers.
- Make sure you remain patient. The dispute process can take months. The credit bureaus deal with millions of disputes.
- Consider a lawyer or a legitimate credit repair company to help you if you are unable to fix the issue.
If you have any questions or issues with your credit reports, check out the Fair Credit Reporting Act at http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf.
Finally, if you are planning a large purchase and know that you will be applying for credit, order a copy of your request at least six months in advance in case there are errors. And remember, your credit score will not be affected if you request a copy of it. Conversely, when a creditor pulls your credit report, your score will be negatively affected.
Artice Source: http://www.articlesphere.com
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