Key Mistakes in Credit Reports
When checking for the credit report errors, you should always look for key mistakes. Mistakes are made by everyone with no exceptions. The same can be said for the credit reporting bureaus. One out of every four consumer reports for credit will contain mistakes or errors. This entails everything from ridiculous oversights of massive proportions to even the most minor of mistakes. Look for these most common credit report errors when checking your reports.
You should always know what you are looking for when you are checking for errors in the reports. The three most common credit report errors are fraudulent accounts, details of the account that are incorrect and errors involving identity.
1. Errors in Regards to Your Identity
TransUnion, Experian and Equifax are the main credit bureaus. Each one contains a database set up with its own data for each and every consumer. This includes all of their information related to their personal life, all of their account information and the history of their payments. All of this is included in credit reports.
Occasionally, one of these bureaus, or sometimes even all three of them will get some of your information wrong. Sometimes these are the most minor of mistakes. One might have the wrong address for you. While a bit inconvenient, this will not affect your credit at all. Sometimes, however; the mistakes are much less forgiving for the consumer. They could have mixed up the names of you and another person’s reflecting the status of his or her accounts on your report. This could drastically affect your credit in either a negative way or a positive way dependent upon that person’s history of payments.
2. Details Inaccurate To Your Account
Occasionally, probably more occasionally than any of us would like, a lender or bank that is giving information regarding your accounts to the bureaus will get some of the information incorrect. There is also the possibility that the bureau could inaccurately process information that was provided to them. You could have the incorrect limit to your credit displayed, you could have the wrong date of origination for your mortgage or the loan for your car could show as still being open even when you know it was already closed out.
3. Accounts That Are Fraudulent
Someone using or stealing your identity is the most serious of errors in existence. This means someone has used your social security number, your name or some other form of your personal data and proceeded to open an account of their own with it. You need to react in a very quick manner to ensure that whoever it is does not continue to open even more accounts using your name and information. This is easily done by adding a security freeze onto your credit reports.
This freeze will prevent anyone and everyone, including yourself or anyone pretending to be you, from opening up any new credit lines. Do not remove the security freeze until you have figured out what has happened and how to keep it from happening again. The most efficient way about this is to simply sign up for a service that monitors your credit for you on a regular basis. A change of your Social Security number should also maybe be a consideration.
What If You Find an Error on Your Credit Report?
Once the error on your report has been identified, you will have to dispute it with the bureau of credit or with whomever provided the information for the bureau.
Disputing an Error with the Bureau of Credit
This is typically considered the route that is most conventional and probably best when disputing any errors regarding personal information that is incorrect. The best way is to gather a copy of the report that contains the error, then to gather documentation that supports your claim. Then you should compose a letter addressed to the affected bureau or bureaus. Make sure you are concise while still being very clear. Make sure you create a copy for your personal records and then send off the letter. Legally, the bureau of credit must do an investigation of your claim and will normally do it within about thirty days of when they received your notification.
How Best To Dispute Directly With the Provider of Information
You should directly contact your lender or personal bank if ever you see that they have reported information that is incorrect to any of the three credit bureaus. You should also contact them if an account was opened using your name. Phone numbers and email addresses are usually fairly easy to locate. Use one of these to contact the provider and take note of any and all conversations that you end up having with the representatives. Sometimes, the lender can directly facilitate the dispute process.
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind that you are directly responsible for taking care of any mistakes on your report that you find now that you know the most common credit report errors. Consumers each get a free copy from each of the three credit bureaus each and every year. You can use these to make sure that all of your information stays as accurate as possible and up to date.