Did you know that you could improve your credit score just by getting rid of the errors in the report? Most people do not even realize that their credit score report can have both errors and omissions and these could be the reason for the low score. If you just fix these, you can repair your credit score the fast track way. You will agree that this is the simplest way to improve your credit rating really quick if you are gearing up to make a big purchase and you want your high score to help you get low interest loans. Here, we tell you about how to dispute credit score and ensure that an accurate picture of your credit standing is indicated in these reports.
Remember that a few studies have indicated that the error rate could be nearly 80%. And you definitely don’t want to ignore an error just because you are not sure how to dispute credit score because it is unnecessarily affected your credit rating. To get the error removed, you have to dispute credit score report and get the credit bureaus to correct the reports. This happens only when you communicate to the company that provided the wrong information to the bureaus and tell them about the error or omission. It is not as easy as it appears, at first glance. The main challenge is that when you dispute credit score report, you are essentially saying that the reporting company’s evidence to support the erroneous entry is wrong or that they are missing some info. Obviously this is not going to be easy. Plus, you need to have your own evidence to prove that what you are saying is accurate. Don’t worry, we will help you figure out exactly how you can do this and guide you on the whole process of credit report error dispute and resolution. Read on to know how to get the job done on your own or through a credit repair agency. So, are you ready to get your brand new, 100% accurate credit report?
Getting access to the credit report from three bureaus
Before you can dispute credit score report, you have to get the reports from the three major U.S. credit reporting bureaus- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Thankfully, this is free provided you do it only once a year. Now, don’t expect the credit report from all three to be the same. They aren’t. In fact, each of these bureaus uses a different technique to calculate your score. Also, one bureau may lack the information which the two others have received so the score given may vary because of this too.
Once you have the credit report from each bureau in your hand, the stage where you start identifying issues starts.
When you are undertaking the process of disputing errors the first time, you do not have the flexibility of ordering the credit reports from the three bureaus at different times of the year to track your credit status without charges. Once this process is done, stagger your credit report requests from each bureau over the year. You can request your credit reports here online.
Understand Your Credit Report
Once you have received your credit reports, it is time to start reading through them in detail. It helps if you know what information it contains and why it is significant so here goes.
Your credit report has four main sections:
In this section, you will find your name, home address, and other personal details listed. Expect to see your employers details listed here too, both current and old. While this section does not impact your credit rating even if it erroneous, you definitely want to have the corrections made here too by contacting the relevant creditbureau about them.
The credit history section is the most critical one of all and it warrants your maximum time and attention. This is where you see almost all of the credit you have received. If you have two loans from one creditor or you have switched to another loan from the same creditor, you will see two entries here. The details of the credit are also mentioned here, for example, you will see type of credit, the balance you have unpaid, the total credit, the status of the credit line, your monthly repayments, plus your repayment performance.
If you have taken many loans, you will have a lot of information in this section. But, no matter how much information there is or how little, it is up to you to give this section a great deal of meticulous attention. Even the smallest of mistakes or omissions here can make a difference to your credit score.
This is the section where any bankruptcy or lien against your property shows up. These can set back your credit score quite drastically so you should make sure you give no cause for any such public records to be included in your credit report.
In this section you will see any attempt that you have made to get fresh loans and also requests for your credit report from others. None of this actually affects your credit score directly.
A simple way to find out if your identity has been stolen is to check if there are any accounts appearing in your credit report that not belong to you. If they do, it means someone has opened accounts using your name and you should immediately intimate the credit bureaus that these records do not pertain to you.
How to Dispute errors
Once you go through your credit reports with a fine tooth comb, you are in a position to list out all the errors and omissions in each. You should immediately start the necessary steps to dispute these with the bureau in whose report the error appears.
Here are some links you can use for disputing errors:
Equifax – https://www.ai.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation/home.action
TransUnion – https://dispute.transunion.com/dp/dispute/landingPage.jsp
As soon as you dispute an entry, it is marked as being disputed in your credit report. Your score is not changed yet. The credit agency has a month to a month and half to communicate the issue to the company that provided the erroneous information and ask for clarification. If the company fails to respond, the entry is removed from your report. If they do, investigation is carried out to see if your stance is valid. Once the credit agency reaches a conclusion, you are intimated by email. You can even track the status of your error resolution while it is being done, online.
Why credit repair companies?
According to the FTC, a whopping 70% of those who dispute errors give up because the process is so time consuming and often, seems to go on endlessly. Nearly 40% of the people said that the credit bureau did not even respond to their dispute. This is one reason for you to go to a credit repair firm to resolve your credit report issues. The professionals know what to do and how to do it to get the results.
Making a formal complaint
So you have filed your dispute and given all the evidence needed to back you claim too, but still nothing has been done. What can you do then? You have the option to make a formal complaint. You can do this through the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) or the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
Your complaint can be directed against the credit agencies or the specific creditor. The CFPB and FTC will peruse your complaint and communicate with the agency to find out why your dispute has not been resolved. To file a complaint you have to give the FTC or CFPB the documentation to back your stance and all other info. The CFPB has a detailed guide to filling their template form, telling you what info to fill in and where. You can keep updated with the status of your complaint online with both the CFPB and FTC.
However, before you do file your complaint with either of these entities, consider calling in a credit repair agency to take on this task for you. The truth is that lenders or other creditors and credit reporting agencies tend to give more attention to a request or dispute coming through a credit repair agency because they know these pros will follow up relentlessly until the error is rectified. Signing up with a credit repair agency increases your chances of getting the error resolved within the shortest possible time line. Also, these agencies bring pressure to bear on the creditor directly, forcing them to revise incorrect info quickly. If the issue cannot be resolved easily because both parties have evidence to back their claim, the credit repair agency often steps in to negotiate between the opposing parties- you and your creditors- and helps arrive at a mutually agreeable solution.
Sign up with one of our top 3 credit repair agencies listed here: