As we are all painfully aware, our recently ailing economy has caused many of us to have less than stellar credit. As we are also painfully aware, bad credit will cost us in interest rates on loans or might even affect our ability to be approved for one. It can also affect insurance and credit card rates and what you may pay on a car loan, among other types of financing. If you think that’s bad, consider this; aside from the bad credit you know you have established, you may also be carrying around negative additions to your credit report you know nothing about! “How can this be?” you may wonder. Contrary (or maybe not so contrary) to popular belief, credit bureaus are not infallible! They can make mistakes in entering data as can the banks, credit card companies, etc. that report to the bureaus. So, what can you do? A little known fact is that you can check your three credit reports for free once every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com.
Dispute any errors, and contact the company that reported the incorrect information to have them correct it. For example, if your credit report says that you are 30 days behind on a payment to Bank ZYX, but you’re not actually behind, dispute the error with the credit bureau and also by contacting Bank ZYX directly. You can submit disputes online at www.equifax.com, www.experian.com, www.transunion.com. You can also submit the dispute by mail or phone, the address or number should be on your credit report.
Once a dispute is received, credit bureaus are required to respond within 30 days. The credit bureau will contact the lender that provided the erroneous information that is in dispute. The lender will then look into the inquiry. Once the problem has been resolved the lender is responsible for alerting the three bureaus of the error. You can also contact the offending lender and request that they update the credit bureaus with the correct information.
If all else fails contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These are the folks who write and enforce the rules for the credit reporting industry. These are also the guys who can get things done when an unresolved dispute remains unresolved. Contact them @ 1.885.411.CFPB (2372) or through www.consumerfinance.gov/Complaint
FYI – The Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers against firms that offer services claiming to improve a person’s credit report for a fee. Such firms can’t do anything that you couldn’t do yourself.
If you are in need of a loan now and can’t wait for your credit issues to be resolved, call the Underwriting Specialists at Liberty Capital Group, Inc. They can help you develop a solid plan for your business financial needs. Contact them @