With everything you do to improve your credit, such as making on-time payments, having a good blend of credit types, and not overusing your credit cards, you can still struggle to improve your credit score because of errors on your credit report. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one in four consumers have errors on their credit reports that have negatively impact their score. It’s essential to make sure your credit report is an accurate reflection of your bill payment history and your finances. Here’s how to fix errors in your credit report, what to look for, and what to do when you find them.
1. Check your credit report.
Every year, you can request a free credit report from the three nationwide credit reporting agencies, TransUnion®, Equifax, and Experian. Visit annualcreditreport.com, and provide your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. You’ll want to request a report from all three bureaus because each of them provides different information about you.
2. Look for common errors.
Once you receive your credit report, you may find a few errors. It’s not uncommon to find errors like a misspelled name, the wrong name completely, or incorrect contact information. You will also want to look for any accounts on your report that aren’t yours. For example, an account may appear in the report that never belonged to you. It may be fraudulent, or may belong to someone that shares your name. Other errors can include debt listed several times, incorrect credit limits, or erroneous account status.
3. Start removing errors on your account.
So, once you have combed through your credit report, if you have discovered errors, it’s time to fix them. First, you will want to file a report with the specific credit bureau where you found the error. You’ll tell the credit bureau in writing which information is incorrect. Be sure that you have copies of any documents that serve as proof of the error. Make sure that you send the letter by certified mail to ensure they’ve received your information. The credit reporting agency will have 30 days to reach out to the company that provided the incorrect information. After an investigation, if your dispute is proven correct, they’ll notify all three credit bureaus of the discrepancy.
If you want to improve your credit score, don’t forget these necessary steps. These errors can negatively impact your credit score and get in the way of applying for loans, passing credit checks, and more. Davis Thorpe and Associates can help you navigate this process. Contact us for a free consultation session.