The number of errors that occur on credit reports might surprise you. In fact, as we’ve previously mentioned, “79 percent of all credit reports contain some type of error” and 25 percent of those errors are serious enough to prevent you from getting the loan you are seeking!
While some errors are simple spelling mistakes or an incorrect house number in your address, errors about whether or not you’ve paid a loan or paid a debt on time can be devastating to your credit rating. The effort to keep your credit report as accurate as possible requires ongoing vigilance. There are three steps you must take to keep your credit report(s) as accurate as possible.
You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Know About
To be able to repair your credit, you need access to your credit reports. You are legally allowed to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) once per year for free. You can also obtain a free credit report from the reporting agency if you are denied credit. At least once a year (and whenever you are denied credit) you should request those reports and carefully review them for inaccuracies. To order copes of your report from each of the three reporting agencies, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.
When you find inaccuracies, which you inevitably will, request that the reporting agency correct the errors. Send a letter to the reporting agency and copy the creditor in question. The FTC has a list of guidelines as well as a sample letter that will help. Provide copies (not originals) of the documentation that backs up your claim, whether it’s a copy of a utility bill verifying your address or a receipt for a loan payoff that is not reflected on your account. Often, credit report agencies will try to use delay tactics to postpone action, even automatically issuing a letter requesting more information, but you can preempt that by providing the necessary proof with your dispute. Disputing inaccuracies can become extremely time-consuming and quite frustrating. Often times, people still do not get the results they were hoping for when taking on such a feat. If you find yourself in this situation, where you’ve grown tired of all the time you’ve spent trying to fix your report, or you’d rather leave it to the professionals, we’re happy to be of assistance.
Managing your credit report requires vigilance, but an accurate report can open doors to lower interest rates and better purchasing power. We offer credit monitoring through services like our Essential Plus program, so contact us today to get the credit report you deserve.