Errors on your credit report can be fixed
Since everyone is a number these days when it comes to credit, it is important to make sure that you have a good one. You should review your credit at least once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com. Several years ago the government required that everyone have the ability to obtain 1 FREE CREDIT REPORT per year from all 3 credit bureaus. Many people don’t do this regularly and also many don’t know that this is available for FREE and use sites that charge a fee.
What am I looking for on my credit reports?
Studies have shown that at least 73% of credit reports have errors on them! That is a significant number of errors for a system that decides if you are approved. Plus this system determines your interest rate. Just a small error can make a huge difference in your scores. Therefore you need to make sure that you do your part to verify your credit files are accurate. Here are important areas to check:
- Are all bills reporting correctly on my credit? If something is reporting a late payment or other bad remark that is not correct, contact the creditor to make the change. This process is called disputing the error with the credit bureau. Follow up until it is corrected. Even if a credit limit is reporting lower than your actual limit, it can lower your credit score. Learn how this can affect 30% of your scores
- Are all bills reporting actually yours? Look to see if the accounts reporting are actually yours. It is very common for individuals to have accounts reporting incorrectly for others with similar names, that are family members, or that are just because of plain errors.
- Is all of your information correct such as full name, previous and current addresses, SSN, employers, and date of birth? Most credit reports have personal information that is either inaccurate or dated. This is especially true for women that have changed their names because of marriage or people that have a suffix after their name such as Jr, Sr, III or 3, etc. The suffix is often dropped off of the name on credit applications which then causes issues with mixing up credit with the father or son with the similar name. One thing to keep in mind when applying for credit is, no matter what, make sure that you spell your name clearly and legibly while also making the creditor repeat back your spelling, SSN, address, date of birth, and any other identifying information. You would have at least done your best to make sure the creditor has the correct information. Often creditor errors are the reason for many of the inaccuracies in credit reports. For instance, Rebecca could be spelled as Rebeccah, Rebekkah, Rebekka, Becca, Rabecca. I have seen all of these which is why we ask for the spelling of every name.
- Why do I need to check all 3 credit bureaus? First of all, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion are 3 different entities so they can each make their own mistakes. Creditors may not report to all 3 bureaus and the creditors may not always update to all 3 the same believe it or not. Many services through a credit card or other membership will provide individuals with a credit report or score from one bureau which is good. But don’t stop there! Make sure that you check all 3 bureaus since they can each have different information.
- I pay all my bills on time so why do I need to check my credit? Go back to the top of this blog to read again. Then remember how many millions of people there are with credit in the US and then multiply that by every credit account that each person has. Finally, multiply that times 3 credit bureaus. So check your credit no matter what, once per year!
To learn more about credit, check out these informative blogs:
- Little known fact that can make or break your mortgage loan approval!
- How to have perfect, walk on water, qualifies for the best rate there is, credit!
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