Credit Card News
Advertising Disclosure
Credit-Land.com is an independent, advertising-supported web site. Credit-Land.com receives compensation from many credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. Credit-Land.com has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.
Credit Card Applications » News » Other » How to Handle Credit Report Mistakes

How to Handle Credit Report Mistakes

Add to Favorites:
How to Handle Credit Report Mistakes
February
21

In the wake of the Federal Trade Commission report that said credit reports from the credit bureaus contained frequent errors, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is offering some advice on how to understand and dispute information on them.

The NFCC says the best way for consumers to make sure their credit history reflects accurate information is to be one’s own advocate, by examining your reports for errors and taking action to correct mistakes.

They’ve compiled this list of Dos and Don’ts for consumers:

Do:

  • Understand what your credit report is for – to reflect your borrowing history and provide information about where you’ve lived, if you have been arrested or sued, and/or if you have filed for bankruptcy. Credit agencies sell the information to potential lenders, landlords and employers.
  • Review your credit report for accuracy at least once a year.  Get a free report from each of the three major bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – at AnnualCreditReport.com each year.
  • Know your rights.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides certain protections regarding the accuracy and privacy of information in credit reports. Both the credit reporting company and the party that provided the information to the bureau(s) are responsible for investigating disputes, but consumers must initiate the investigation.
  • Expect a quick response.  The FCRA requires investigations to commence within 30 – 45 days of the dispute being filed.  Credit bureaus must forward information about the dispute to the source to begin the investigation process.   If the dispute is found to have merit, the company in question must inform all three credit bureaus so they can correct the error.
  • Put an explanation in your report  if your dispute is not resolved. Consumers are allowed to add a statement of up to 100 words.  That statement will be included in your credit report in the future.

Don’ts:

  • Not all errors are equal.  While some mistakes have a negative impact on your credit score, others will not. Inaccurate account information, credit lines with lower limits than they really have, or negative information that is not correct, should be addressed immediately.
  • Not all negative information will necessarily be removed.  Information that is negative, but accurate, will stay on your report – only time can remove it. Most negative information will remain for seven years. Bankruptcies may stay on the report for ten years.
  • No need to seek the services of a credit repair company. Anything they can do for you, you can do for yourself. And many of them charge high fees. If you do hire a credit repair company, be aware that the Credit Repair Organizations Act prohibits them from charging you before services are rendered.

Since credit scores can impact consumers’ ability to secure mortgages, car loans, credit cards, apartments, and jobs, it’s vital that they correct inaccurate information contained in credit reports. A higher credit score can result in lower interest rates and higher credit limits, so even if a credit score is good, making sure it’s the highest it can be is in a consumers’ best interest.

Add to Favorites:

Related News:

Feds Call for Free Credit Scores

By Elizabeth Nelson, Posted: March 07, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is urging credit card issuers to make cardholders’ credit scores available for free on their monthly statements and online. Continue reading
FICO Scores Getting a Makeover

By Elizabeth Nelson, Posted: March 17, 2014

Your FICO score may look a little different starting this summer. The company is releasing a new version of their credit-scoring product, the FICO Score 9, designed to provide more accurate risk assessment across different industries. Continue reading
Free FICO Scores for Commerce Bank Customers

By Elizabeth Nelson, Posted: May 21, 2015

Folks who bank with Commerce Bank now have an easy way to keep tabs on their credit ratings. FICO, a leading provider of credit scores, has partnered with the bank to offer free FICO scores to customers on their monthly statements. Continue reading
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 12.24%-22.24% based upon your creditworthiness.
For Excellent/Good Credit
1% cash back on select purchases, terms apply
For Fair Credit
Guaranteed $500 Unsecured Credit Limit
For Bad Credit