Fix Credit Report Mistakes Before They Become a Problem

As the economy continues to improve and more Americans start to feel better about their own personal financial positions, many may start to think more positively about their chances for qualifying for credit they may feel they need. However, some may not be as qualified as they would like to be as a result of issues that may be plaguing them without their even knowing it.

If you’re finding yourself in a better financial position these days and are thinking about applying for almost any type of credit, it might be a good idea to first order at least one copy of your credit reports so that you can see exactly where you stand as far as lenders are concerned. While you may be fully aware that these documents are very important to your financial situation, particularly when you want to apply for any type of account, what you may not know is that this is what lenders use to determine whether you’ll be able to qualify for the financing in question, and that the information listed on those documents is what credit bureaus use to build your credit scores overall.

More on why it’s important

For this reason, you’ll certainly want to do all you can to make sure that the information listed on these documents is as accurate as it can possibly be; numerous studies have found that a healthy percentage of the average person’s credit report contains at least one unfair marking which could be having a negative impact on that American’s scores, and that in turn can be bad news for their eligibility for any type of financing. While you know full well that your credit scores are used to determine whether you will be granted a line of credit for which you’ve applied, did you also know that depending on how high or low your score is, you will pay less or more for that account? Lenders give borrowers with good or excellent credit far more attractive rates than they give to those with fair or poor credit, and often those rates you see advertised for everything from mortgages to credit cards are only based on what will be granted to those with the best possible credit.

It’s for these reasons that it’s so imperative to make sure your credit reports are completely accurate.

How do you do it?

Once you’ve contacted at least one of the three credit bureaus and ordered a copy of your report — which you can do from each one of them entirely for free once every 12 months, per federal law — the first thing you should do is look it over closely. The kind of unfair marking you might be looking for can take many forms: in some cases it could be that an account you don’t recognize is being listed in your name (usually the result of a simple error by a credit issuer, but sometimes a sign that you have been victimized by identity theft) or that information on accounts you do control is listed incorrectly (such as lenders saying that you owe more on a credit card than you actually do).

If you notice something out of place, the first thing you should do is call or send a letter to the financial institution which issued the problematic account, as well as contacting the credit bureau from which you ordered the report. These two steps will start an investigation into the claims you’re making, at which point you might be asked to provide proof that the information listed in your name is not correct. Further, if you find that there is an error on one credit report, you should also take the time to order a copy of the document from each of the other two to make sure the problem is not plaguing you on those documents as well.

Of course, it’s not always easy to provide proof that you don’t have any involvement with an account listed in your name if you’ve never seen or heard anything about it before, but working your way through the dispute process is your best chance of getting these issues cleared up as quickly and easily as you possibly can, and returning your standing to exactly where you deserve to be. Once these issues have been cleared up, you will then be able to apply for the kind of credit you may have been seeking safe in the knowledge that you’ll be getting exactly what your scores dictate you should.

If you’re having any particular trouble in getting such an issue cleared up, though, it might be wise to work with a credit repair company, as this may allow you to clear it up perhaps more expediently than if you continue to try to do so on your own.

Posted in Credit Repair
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