Your credit report is a detailed report of your credit history, containing personal information such as where you live and how you pay your bills. For those who have been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy, those mishaps are listed on your credit report as well.
Your credit report is what lenders use to determine your worthiness of a loan. It will significantly affect your finances and purchasing options throughout your life. Business lenders at Fast and Easy Funds say consumers should check their credit report regularly for mistakes. A study conducted by federal regulators determined that 1 in 5 American consumers have an error in their credit report. A credit report error can lead to many issues, such as:
- Denial of job offers
- Credit denials
- Overcharging for credit card debts
- Overcharging for auto loans
- Overcharging for insurance policies
- Lowered credit score
- Higher interest rates
Not only is it necessary to regularly watch your credit report, but it is important to correct any errors as quickly as possible. Many people report difficulties in attempting to correct a credit report error. You can follow this guide from Fast and Easy Funds to effectively dispute a credit report error.
Step 1: Obtain your credit report from companies like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Step 2: Check for the most common errors, such as:
- Identity: Home address, name, social security number
- Account details: Card limits, incorrect balances, dates, paid accounts
- Fraudulent accounts: New accounts, cards, or loans you never signed up for
Step 3: Write two letters – One to the reporting company, and one to your lending company. Each letter should clearly state which information is incorrect and why. Be sure to include your name, address, account name, inaccurate information, why it is inaccurate, and how it needs to be corrected. Fast and Easy Funds encourages you to include proof of payment, a fraud affidavit, and bank statements to prove the error in your report.
Step 4: Do not use online or automated systems. Send your report by certified mail with a return receipt requested.
Step 5: Give your reporting company and your lender up to 30 days to respond. If these businesses feel you have not provided substantial evidence proving there was an error in your report, you may need to seek legal assistance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Correcting your credit report will result in a successful increase in your FICO Credit Score and boost your financial success.