Posts Tagged ‘credit card laws’

How to Fix a Mistake On Your Credit Report

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Know your credit!

We all make mistakes, but when it comes to your credit report, a simple or small error can have a big impact. In fact, one small error is more than enough to drag down your FICO score and could even prevent you from getting a loan in the future. It is very important to monitor your credit report and score on a regular basis to spot any errors that occur. This will enable you to take quick action to fix any damage that has been caused before it can affect you adversely. Here are the steps you need to take to fix a mistake on your credit report.

1. File a Dispute.

This is done through the actual credit bureau. Since there are three different major reporting agencies, you may need to monitor all three to see if all of your reports are being affected. Each one will have to be dealt with separately, especially if the error appears on all three reports. In many cases, it may take 60 days or more for something to show up on a report, so if you do spot an error, you will need to keep monitoring your other reports as well.

All three bureaus now offer the ability to file a dispute online, or you can file it by phone or through regular mail, depending on your preference. You will need to select the reason for your dispute and provide the correct information if necessary. Expect to wait up to 45 days for a response one way or the other.

2. Contact Creditor Directly.

If your dispute is denied and you are certain that there is still an error on your report, you can contact the creditor directly. Keep a record of all communications and send a copy of everything you send to a creditor to the three major reporting agencies as well. Always use registered mail when you contact a creditor, since they will need to respond to you within 45 days to remain compliant.

If you do not hear back within that time frame, you will need to contact the reporting agencies to update them on the status of the dispute. In many cases if the creditor has not responded within that time frame, the agencies will simply remove the error.

3. Know Your Rights.

It is a very good idea to review the Fair Credit Debt Collections Protection Act so that you are aware of your rights when it comes to dealing with creditors, reporting agencies and collection agencies. The information contained in this act will assist you in determining your further course of action if you cannot get the error removed from your report.

With diligence, you can protect your credit rating from adverse affects due to errors, but it is up to you to make sure that they are taken care of promptly. If you are not currently monitoring your credit reports, you may want to consider doing so, especially if you plan on applying for a loan within the next 180 days.

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