Even though you expect your credit report to be free of errors, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Here’s the problem: the only way to know if there’s an error on your credit report is to regularly review it. And that’s why you should get into the habit of doing so at least once a year.
Should you come to find an error on your credit report, regardless of what it may be, it’s critical that you take immediate action. This could be a sign of identity theft. It could also have a negative impact on future purchases, such as if you want to take out a car loan.
Here are some things you should do if you spot an error on your credit report:
- Make note of what you’re seeing: It’s critical that you double check the data to ensure that it’s inaccurate. From there, make a copy of your credit report and write down exactly what’s wrong. You’ll need this information in the future.
- Contact the organized that provided the information to the credit bureau and the credit bureau itself: Both parties are responsible for making things right as outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Inform them as to what’s wrong as soon as possible.
- Provide all the necessary information: Credit bureaus are required by law to investigate the information in question within 30 days. In addition to providing a copy of the credit report to support your stance, you should clearly identify the disputed item, add facts as necessary, and request that it’s corrected or deleted in a timely manner.
From there, wait for a response from the credit bureau. If they state that the issue will be taken care of, continue to regularly check your credit report to ensure that it is.
The Federal Trade Commission is well aware that this is a problem, which is why it provides information on its website about how to dispute credit report errors.
Here’s a particular important excerpt:
Under the FCRA, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take advantage of all your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider.
It’s frustrating to find an error on your credit report, as it forces you to spend time disputing the information and making things right. However, it’s better to do this than to simply hope for the best.
Your credit report is a picture into your financial health. You want it to be 100 percent accurate at all times. Should you come across an error, take the steps above to rectify the situation as soon as possible.