March 18, 2018
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Credit Reports - Fixing Credit Report Errors

It's always a good idea to periodically review your credit report to check for errors, especially if you plan on making any large purchases, such as a house or car, in the near future. The information on your credit report is only as good as the person doing the data entry, and they do make mistakes. Negative errors could cost you a lot of money in terms of paying higher interest rates, and even getting a job or insurance. It's up to you to get the errors corrected.

Common Errors

Each of the three national consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, can have slightly different information in your report, so it's important to check all three because the mistakes can be different. As you go through the reports, look for the following common errors:

· misspellings or numerical mistakes in names, birthdates, or addresses
· the same loan or account listed more than once
· missing positive information such as a loan being paid off or an account that is up to date
· closed account shown as still open
· payments listed as late when they were not
· someone else's information-Mr. Smith Sr. might appear on Mr. Smith Jr.'s report
· outdated information regarding address, employer, or previous spouse

Removing Errors

The process for removing errors from your credit report is free, but up to you. Begin by writing to the particular credit reporting agency as well as the company or person who gave them the information. Explain what information you think is incorrect and ask for it to be cancelled or removed. Make sure you include your full name, address, as well as specific account information in error. Make a copy and send the copy, not the original, to the credit reporting agency by certified mail, return receipt requested. This way, you'll have proof that they received it. The agency must investigate your submission within 30 days and send copies of the dispute to the company or individual who reported the information. It then becomes their responsibility to investigate and send the results back to the credit agency. If the findings are that the information actually is incorrect, then they have to contact the other credit agencies to delete it. Finally, once the investigation is over, the credit agency must give you written results and a copy of your credit report if changes were made, free of charge.



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