Your credit report and credit score can determine your financial future. If you have a bad credit report and history and bad credit score you will be turned down for loans or have to pay insanely high interest rates on them. If you have a good credit score, the interest rates will be lower and you will have an easier time with loans for things like mortgages and car loans. Remember that errors in your credit report can lower your credit score, so fixing those errors can increase your score and make you more attractive to lenders.
You are allowed a free credit report, every year, from the three credit bureaus. When you are looking the reports over, you may notice a mistake. There are ways of disputing this mistake, and you should, so have it removed from your record. Here are the steps to disputing a mistake:
1.Get the most current copy of your credit report possible from all three of the bureaus.
2.Dispute any mistakes that you see right away. Start with contacting the credit reporting agency that you are seeing a mistake with first. They will let you know if it is a mistake on the creditor’s part. Once you have contacted the agency, you can then contact the creditor. Make sure you have paperwork to help dispute your claim such as correspondence about a billing issue that has been worked out already or a receipt for a debt that has been paid in full.
You can dispute the claim online or by mail. By mail is usually better if you want to send in copies of information along with the dispute. Online however is quick and simple. Mail is better as well if it is your second attempt at a dispute.
3. Wait for a response from the credit agency. They have 30 days to respond.
4. Escalate the dispute if they tell you it’s correct but you know it’s wrong. Send a letter to the credit bureau and CC: the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the state attorney general.
If none of this works contact a lawyer. Keep copies of everything and keep monitoring your report vigilantly.