Protect Yourself by Disputing Credit Report Scores when Necessary

Protect yourself and your financial information because that information can make a big difference to accomplishing anything. Financial information about us is determined by a credit score. Anytime we want to get a new credit card, take out a loan, rent an apartment, or buy insurance, we are at the mercy of our credit score. This score, based on an individual’s borrowing history is used to decide whether or not that individual will qualify for a loan, and what rate of interest he or she will be given. Since this score is so vital to making many of our wishes come true, it is important to know what the score is, and what it means. Anyone who doesn’t agree with the score, or believes it contains an error, will want to get it fixed. Disputing credit report scores can protect us and help to keep our credit looking healthy. A recent report found that 26% of credit reports had errors, with 5% of those errors resulting in a higher interest rate for the borrower.

So, borrower, check your credit report. You are entitled to one free report from any of the three major scorekeepers – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – once per year, so take advantage. It’s best to request a report fairly regularly, so that you are in touch with what is being said about you and so that there is time to correct any errors if you are planning on a major purchase. Disputing credit report scores can take three months so don’t find out about the error when you are in the automobile sales office trying to buy your new car.

If you find an error on the credit report, it is up to you to initiate the correction process. There are procedures in place for disputing credit report information at the websites of any of the companies. Carry out your dispute in writing so that there is a paper trail of the procedure. If you initiate a dispute, the agency must investigate it and anything that is discovered to be incorrect, must be removed within 30 days.

Credit Report

The kinds of errors that people are able to get changed are incorrect information on the credit score. Things like an incorrect account, accounts that belong to someone else, or inaccurate information regarding amounts or late payments are common errors that are found. Look for anything that is wrong in any part of the information, since the error may be serious. Don’t expect all repaired errors to have a magical effect on your score. Some mistakes do more damage than others. But, if you find an error in one report, make sure you check for it in other reports from other companies as well. It may be repeated. You must be diligent when you are disputing credit report errors.

You have rights to protect yourself and ensure the accuracy of the information that people use against you. After all, it is important to have and maintain a good credit report score. Once you are sure that you have the best score you can have, keep it that way. Keep accurate records of everything that you do when keeping your bills and finances up to date so that you will be able to have a back up to prove your actions when you are disputing credit report information. Having a good score is even better than winning a dispute so always pay bills on time, and keep your number of credit cards to a manageable amount. When you have credit, you should use it to prove that you are responsible, but keep it in moderation. Be careful with your debts. Accurate negative information remains on your score for seven years, and a bankruptcy can stay for ten years. One other thing – if a dispute is investigated but found to be accurate, that it is, it is allowed to stay on your file, you are allowed to write a note for the file to explain your side of the story. Don’t let that opportunity pass.

If there are any errors, you can take care of them yourself with a little diligence, understanding and patience. You can get the errors removed by disputing the credit report and having the error removed. Don’t expect a miracle, but do protect yourself. Have errors removed, keep your financial record in good shape and be aware that credit scores serve a purpose to help companies make an informed decision about your reliability.