If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
MONEY / FINANCE
Bad numbers can impact your ability to purchase, borrow and pay things off
The number reflected on your credit report can have huge personal impacts. It may limit your ability to get a loan and open other lines of credit, or drive up the interest rate you pay on the debt you’re carrying.
In some cases, it can become a deciding factor in the hiring process. So pay close attention to these regularly updated calculations, and note any errors.
Not correcting your credit report can end up changing your entire path forward.
ROOTING OUT ERRORS
A Federal Trade Commission study of credit reporting found that 26% of participants had an error that indicated a risk for potential lenders.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau confirms that the top complaint they receive is about these basic mistakes.
Make sure you’re not one of them by closely following your numbers through national credit bureaus like Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Some offer free credit report specials, as do certain banks and credit-card companies.
Closely monitoring your report will also give you an early heads up if someone tries to steal your identity.
GETTING THEM FIXED
Credit bureaus allow you to dispute errors through an online process, and businesses and credit-reporting companies are required to fix errors free of charge.
There are online options, or you can download dispute forms and mail them in.
Keep complete records on any errors, and when you disputed them. Bureaus are required to investigate any dispute within a month’s time.
If they disagree with your alert, they must also provide an opportunity for you to submit more evidence.
All of these details are then forwarded to the company which originally reported the incorrect information. Once changes are made, the bureaus are then required to send you a free updated report.
If you choose to dispute the error directly with the reporting business, carefully document all of your communication.
Begin with a letter or email, rather than a phone call, stating that you are disputing an error. Include complete contact information, the specifics of the mistake and why it’s incorrect, and copies of all documentation. (Do not send your originals.)
Companies are required to inform all credit bureaus that you are disputing an element of your credit report, and the bureaus must acknowledge the dispute within your report.