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Did you know that you can speed up the process to dispute credit report information by completing the process online? The major credit reporting agencies offer the service through their websites. When you do this, make sure you have all of the necessary information, including all of the details regarding the item you want to dispute. A credit reporting dispute is taken seriously by the credit bureaus since investigating a claim like this is a right you have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Checking your credit report on a regular basis is a good idea. However, be careful with where you go to check your credit report. There are a number of scams where identity thieves are just waiting to get your information with offers that say “check credit report free.” They may set up phony websites looking to get your personal information or credit card numbers. A few tips to follow that can help you avoid becoming a victim include:
1. Don't click on a link provided in an unsolicited e-mail.
2. Check the URL or e-mail address to see if it ends in a country code like .de rather than the more common .com ending.
3. See if spelling or grammar errors are in the e-mail. Most reputable companies spend a lot of time on e-mails to make sure this doesn't happen.
When you are looking to dispute credit report information, start by carefully documenting what you think is wrong. You can submit your dispute by completing the appropriate dispute form or sending a credit report dispute letter to the credit bureau. If you need help determining how to write this letter you can find a sample credit report dispute letter on the web. Basically, you need to include information about you (name, date of birth, social security number and address), as well as information on the item you are disputing (account number, date, etc.). Send this along with a copy of the credit report showing the item you feel is in error. Keep copies of everything you send and mail the information through certified mail. This will provide you evidence of when the information was received. Take notes a nytime you speak to anyone at the credit bureau. Get the name of the individual and carefully write down everything that is discussed. Within 30-days of receiving your dispute, the credit bureau must complete its investigation. You are then notified of the results.
To dispute items on credit report, the credit reporting agencies want to make sure that you are telling the truth. Occasionally, they deal with consumers who are looking to defraud the credit bureau and the financial institution. They can combat against this by checking all of the facts that are provided. They review the information you provide, as well as that provided by the creditor to make a determination. If it is determined that you are supplying fraudulent information you could face criminal charges.
Getting a copy of your free credit report can help you catch errors early. If you see any credit reporting errors, don't ignore it since it could be a signal that you are the victim of identity theft. Start investigating immediately and notify the credit bureau of the discrepancy. If you do discover that you are the victim of identity theft, notify the police immediately. The police report will make it easier to verify that you are the victim of identity theft to creditors.
Credit reports are important for your financial future. Very few people can afford to make it through life without the use of some type of credit. You may not feel a need to use credit cards, but most people need assistance when it comes to making major purchases, like a home. In order to qualify for any type of credit you need a good credit score. The best way to maintain your credit is to always make payments on time, don't overextend yourself and correct inaccuracies on your credit history. If you don't dispute credit errors, you could lower your credit score and substantially hurt your ability to get future credit.
Credit report disputes do happen and they are not fun. Keep in mind that the credit reporting agencies do not make this stuff up. Instead, it is reported to them through creditors and other agencies who have the right to post information on a credit report. Just because an item is negative does not give you the right to dispute it if it is accurate. Many people think that things like failing to pay child support is not something that can be reported on a credit report. However, something like that is legitimate and can not be disputed, unless it is false.
Sometimes errors occur. When they are caught, you need to begin working to get them corrected as quickly as possible since getting them removed can take some time. Credit report errors can be fixed by informing the credit bureau of the dispute. If it is determined that the information is correct, you will be notified that no change is being made to your credit report. In the event that you still disagree and feel the information is incorrect, you are permitted to have a statement added to your credit report indicating that.
Finding an error on your credit report can be very frustrating. Fortunately, you have federal laws on your side, which allow you to dispute errors with the credit reporting agency and the creditor. If you requested a copy of your credit report be mailed to you, then a credit report dispute form should have been included. Fill this form out completely and return it to the credit bureau. They will then investigate within 30 days of receiving your letter and inform you of the outcome. If a correction is made based on the findings, they will send you a new copy of your credit report.
Reading credit reports can be confusing. Before you assume there is an error, make sure you are interpreting the information correctly. The good news is that you can effectively dispute errors. Keep records of all your telephone conversations and correspondence. Get the name, title, and telephone/extension number of the person with whom you are speaking. All three of the large credit bureaus offer tools to register free online credit report disputes. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also offers a publication called “How to Dispute Credit Report Errors” for free on its Web site.
Federal credit reports are one of the best ways for a person to start monitoring and keeping track of their credit score. If incorrect information is found on the federal credit report there is generally a method to having it investigated and removed by the credit reporting agency. The problem is that this may not be enough. To make sure that the incorrect information is removed and stays removed it is best to contact the company that reported the information in the first place.
Contact the company with a copy of the reported information. Explain how the information is incorrect and ask for it to be removed. Make sure to mail the request and send it certified mail. Keep copies of the certified receipts and any paperwork correspondence. Keep everything in writing because phone calls and emails may not be enough to prove the communication occurred or was valid. Submit the paperwork to the credit agency as part of the investigation. Keep the information should the incorrect entry reappear.
Keeping a record of the request, investigation, communication, and the verification that the item was removed from the credit report is vital to keeping the credit score above average. The Federal Trade Commission states that it is the responsibility of both parties to correct inaccurate information on the report.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|