Generally there is not much to going over your credit reports. You read over them double-check a few items and more or less forget about them until next year. Or maybe you’re in a different situation. This could be the first time you’ve ever ordered your credit reports and some of the items just don’t seem right. At first it may seem quite distressing to notice these inaccurate items. The fact is many people don’t know how to go about fixing the problem. Here will discuss how to remove these items and stop the damaging effects that they have on your credit.
Be sure to keep good records
In order to dispute an item you will need to provide documentation to the creditor and the credit bureaus. Since you obviously won’t know ahead of time what the mistakes will be keep good records. Canceled checks, billing statements, and receipts are all very useful when disputing an item. Keep the originals for yourself and send copies to whatever parties may need.
Notify the credit bureau
By law the credit bureau must investigate all legitimate claims that are put in writing. If you notice errors take action as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that just because an item is negative does not mean it’s inaccurate. You only waste your time and everyone else’s by submitting false claims.
First compose a letter to the credit reporting agency with a detailed description of the inaccurate item. Provide as clearly as possible why this item is in error. Include with the letter copies of all supporting evidence. Also include your name and address.
Mail this information by certified mail with a return receipt requested. What this does for you is let you know when the item was received. The credit bureau is required to investigate all written claims within 30 days. This is the initial investigation so do not expect a full resolution in that timeframe. It can unfortunately take much longer.
Notify the creditor
Follow the same steps that you took when you contacted the credit bureau. Once the creditor has been notified they must include a note on your credit report indicating that the item has been disputed. This will continue until it is determined to be correct or in fact an error. To help protect consumers the burden of proof lies in the hands of the creditor. If they cannot prove that the item is true it must be corrected or removed. Many laws are either in the process of being passed or have passed recently that deal with how items are reported. The government is starting to crack down because of the problems these inaccuracies have caused the American people.
It’s very important to be thorough in checking over your credit report each year. Errors are unfortunately common and unless you find them chances are no one else will. It is essential that you fix your credit report errors because they will hurt your score. If you find that there are multiple errors or if you do not have time to do this yourself please look into professional credit repair, there are affordable and reputable companies out there.