Paying close attention to your credit report is very important. Mistakes happen and sometimes they even happen on your credit report. Paying close attention to your credit report means that you can find these mistakes rather quickly and fix credit report errors. If these errors happen they can affect your credit. Also when these errors occur, under the regulations of the FCRA, you have the right to fix them and it is the CRA’s responsibility to make sure that they are fixed properly.
In order to ensure you’re prepared if an error pops up, you must keep your payments and accounts well documented. Once they are spotted you need to work hard to fix credit report errors. Keep records of everything. This should not only be done on computer files, as many people have experienced the unexpected loss of important information that has been kept on computers. These important documents should also be kept organized in storage on paper.
When an error occurs on your report it can be from multiple different possibilities. There are an estimated 7.2 trillion people in the world today. Odds are high that you share the same name as someone else. This is one way that an error can occur on your credit report. If your name is Jacob Adams, both of these names are fairly common. It would not be unlikely for there to be another Jacob Adams. There could be a mix up where information from the persons’ matching name is placed on your credit report.
Another mistake that could occur involves social security numbers. At times another SSN could be included in your credit report. More often than not, the difference between the two SSNs is only by one number.
Since there are many different types of problems that can occur, the process and information needed to fix the problem is sometimes different. However, the way that you begin to fix credit report errors is usually the same. Most national credit bureaus have a place to begin a dispute online. This can be a good place to begin. Once you have completed the process of filing an online dispute it is also good to send a detailed letter in the mail. This way you can tell your story clearly and accurately. Here are a few things that your letter should include:
- Accurate, currant contact information such as telephone numbers and your address
- A detailed explanation of the issues at hand
- A copy of your report with the problem areas highlighted or circled
- Clear proof that the information on the report is wrong and include the correct information
This letter should also be sent by certified mail so that you know exactly when the bureau receives it. You also need to keep a record of everything that you have sent to the bureau.
For example if there is information on your credit report stating that you lived at an address where you never lived you would want to provide evidence proving that you lived at a different address in the given time period. If there is an incorrect social security number on your report you will need to send a copy of your social security card. You will need accurate proof for each dispute and it is likely that you will need to provide around 50 pages of in-depth information.
As soon as you have sent all of your information to the credit bureau, you should also send a letter to creditors who gave the credit bureau the wrong information. This letter is in order to notify them that you are filing a dispute. You should also include the same proof that was sent to the credit bureau proving that the information is incorrect.
When trying to fix credit report errors that are more serious such as incorrect bankruptcies it is extremely important to be very persistent and provide all of the necessary information. Bob Sullivan outlines great guidelines to use in such cases in “Bob Sullivan on The Red Tape Chronicles”.
Review Your Report:
The CRA has 30 days to respond to your dispute. After this mark, if you have not heard anything you need to call for assistance and should keep notes on each conversation. After you have received a response from the credit agency they will send you a new copy of your report if it has been changed. You should also be given the information of the creditors or merchants that ar being disputed against. It the problem has not been fixed and you know that it is wrong then you can continue to pursue a solution. Also if you are being ignored or not being treated fairly you can report this to the agency that the creditors report to. It is a trying process but it is very important that you and the others involved work to fix credit report errors.