It is important to check your credit report for accuracy at least once a year. Your credit score impacts a lot – from buying a car to buying a home. In an era when identity theft is commonplace, checking your credit report is a must.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) holds consumer reporting agencies and the creditors responsible for ensuring accurate information on your report and can be held liable for not correcting mistakes in a consumer's report, or refusing to properly look into disputes.
The FCRA entitles you to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three national credit reporting agencies. Check for any errors or missing information and contact the reporting agencies disputing anything that does not look accurate.
The credit bureau has 30 days from the date they receive your dispute request to complete their investigation. If they can't verify the accuracy of what you have disputed, then they will delete it from your credit report.
There are several different ways to file dispute inaccuracies on your credit report from the three main credit agencies (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian), including:
- Create an account online with one of the three agencies to review your report and challenge any inaccuracies.
- Call one of the three agencies and speak to a representative; just remember to have your credit report handy to go over disputed items.
- Send a certified letter disputing the items on your report, which may not be the quickest option.
Although the dispute process may seem like a hassle, it is worth it in the long run. Having a good credit score may help you get a lower interest rate on a home.
For more information about how you can improve your credit report or lending options, contact us today.