What To Do When you Find A Mistake on Your Credit Report
What happens when credit agencies make a mistake on your credit report? Absolutely nothing…unless you send in a dispute claim. If a credit agency mistakenly lists your mortgage twice, records that you had late credit card payments, includes properties that you no longer own, or even lists you as deceased on your credit report they will not correct these errors unless you specifically ask them to. Meaning that your credit score can suffer a lot of damage for something that is not true. That is why it is so important to dispute errors on your credit report as soon as you find them.
The first step is finding the errors in your credit report. If you have not ordered a credit report for 2020 read our article from last week on why and how you should order a free report today. Now that you have found the error it is time to send in a dispute claim. Sadly, this happens so often to Americans that the Federal trade Commission (FTC) has a step by step guide on their website on how to dispute your credit report. We have linked that guide here below.
After you have followed the guide to disputing the error on your credit report remember these three things:
- Be Persistent: a credit agency has little to no incentive to correct the error on your credit report for you. While your credit can suffer deeper damage each day there is an inaccuracy, the credit agency may drag their heels on reviewing your dispute. This is why it is essential that even after you send in your dispute you continue to follow up with the agency either by phone or email to ensure that your credit report is corrected and you can get back on the road towards a good credit score.
- Record Everything: Disputing a credit error can be a game of he said she said between you and the credit agency. But having cold hard evidence that your credit report is inaccurate and that you have contacted them about it protects you from falling victim to permanent credit damage. When sending in your dispute, save a copy of everything from the letter you send them to the documents proving your claim.
- Keep Up Good Credit Habits: An error on your credit report can be a minor issue such as a mis-spelling of your name but it can also be large and very harmful to your credit such as an extra mortgage in your name. While you are waiting for your dispute to be reviewed, the most important thing you can do for yourself and your credit is to keep up or develop good credit habits. If you credit did suffer because of the error, then today is the day to start building your score back up.
Do not let a credit agency mistake hurt you or your credit. Time heals all wounds, but the clock does not start until you take action and send in a dispute.