Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report | The Frugalista

Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report

by frugalista on March 5, 2013

Hey Frugs! So, errors on your credit report are not hot! Bad information on your report may lower your score, causing you to pay higher interest rates when you need a loan. Boo and hiss! So, if you check your report at annualcreditreport.com and discover some mishaps on there, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has some tips for how to correct the error. I’ve included a few below!

Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report by the NFCC

1) Do review the report often. Frequently reviewing the report allows action to be taken promptly if a problem is found, or if identity theft is suspected. Reviewing at least three months in advance of a major financial move allows time for most inaccuracies to be corrected.

2) Do understand your rights. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides consumers with protections around the accuracy and privacy of information in their credit file. The FCRA holds both the credit reporting company and the entity that provided the information to the bureau responsible for investigating and acting upon the dispute. The bureaus have dispute resolution processes in place, but it is up to the consumer to initiate the process by submitting the dispute form either online, by mail or by phone.
Do expect a timely response. The FCRA requires credit reporting companies to investigate the items in question, usually within 30 – 45 days of the dispute being filed.

3) Do add a statement explaining the circumstances. If an entry is disputed, but the consumer disagrees with the results of the investigation, he or she is allowed to add a 100 word or less Statement of Dispute to be included with each future credit report, as well as to those who received a copy of the report in the recent past if requested.

4) Don’t use a credit repair company offering a quick fix. There is little a credit repair business can do for you that you can’t do for yourself, and do it for free. Further, the credit repair companies may charge consumers high fees and deliver few, if any, results. Although some may attempt it, credit repair companies are not allowed to ask for a fee in advance of any service being delivered, as this is prohibited by the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Frivolous challenges to a report are in no one’s best interest, and consumers should steer clear of anyone offering a quick fix.

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