All About Credit Report Errors

April 6, 2012 by  Filed under: Credit 

You may not be aware of it, but errors on credit reports are incredibly common. Approximately 4 out of every 5 of these reports have at least one error, so you should take the time to understand these errors and how you can dispute them. By learning more about these errors, you have a better chance of keeping your credit report clean as a whistle.

Errors on your credit report can happen a number of ways, one being identity theft. There are several people who are interested in gaining access to information like your Social Security number or credit card information so they can use your identity to open new accounts in your name. This kind of fraud is despicable, to say the least, but it is also common and can cause many issues with your credit score. Be sure to keep yourself protected against identity theft by keeping all important documents locked away safely and shredding any documents you do not need, especially if they have your Social Security number or credit card information.

Sometimes reports on your credit have errors that are simply a result of outdated information, so making sure that all your information is up to date at all times is very important to the integrity of your credit score. Even if the information you have on file is just incomplete, it can cause problems for you. Periodically check your information so you can know for sure whether incorrect information is affecting your credit score in a negative way.

In order to find out if there are any errors on your credit report, you will have to request that your report be generated. You will not be able to make any claim that there are errors unless the copy is less than 90 days old. You are allowed to request a free credit report each year by law, so take advantage of this if you have not already.

If you do encounter errors within your report, you should look into disputing them with the credit bureau that put together the report. You will have to do this in writing, online, or in person. If you choose to write to the credit bureau, keep in mind that you will have to explain in your letter of dispute how you want the issue to be resolved. For instance, if you find that your employer history is incorrect, you should include the supporting documents that prove your dispute, and request that an explanation be inserted into your report with regard to the incorrect information. Usually, you should just request for the information to be removed from your record entirely.

Be sure that you include all information required on a dispute letter, including your full name and address, copies of supporting documents as necessary, a complete description of what needs to be corrected, and what you wish the resolution to be. Also include a short message about why you think the information being disputed is inaccurate or incorrect. Send the information with Return Receipt Requested so that you can ensure that the credit bureau actually receives your letter and accompanying documents.

Robin Wood
Annual Credit Report
Handling Credit Report Errors

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