Step-by-Step Guide to Fix Mistakes on Your Credit Report
Getting excited about buying a home is part of human nature. It is a big step; and, when you are ready, it can be life changing. However, if there is a bad credit score looming overhead, the dream can be shot down quickly. So, take the appropriate steps to clear up negative credit issues, and you will soon be on your way to owning your own home. Know what needs to be done and how to do it the right way.
More than Just a Letter
A misconception about clearing up credit issues is that the only thing you need to do is write a letter. Even the FTC reports that after discovering an issue, informing the reporting company in writing of the inaccuracy will repair the problem. While this is partially true, it is very unlikely that the desired action will take place by simply letting the credit bureau know what should be removed. If it were that simple, people would be able to easily make credit problems disappear, even those that are legitimate issues and not mistakes at all.
The Who and the Why
Before sending in any correspondence about a problem found on a credit report, you must first determine where the inaccuracy came from. This could include a creditor, bill collector, or the credit bureau itself. This is where your first letter should go. For example, if a credit card company has reported that you are behind on a bill and you think it is wrong, your letter should go directly to that credit card company. Discuss what is wrong and why it should be removed. They are going to be the ones who can contact the credit bureau with their mistake.
Also, it is imperative to know exactly what is wrong with what is being reported. There are more than just “inaccurate” reports that will show up. Other issues could involve things that cannot be verified or incomplete reporting. In the letter, be sure to clarify exactly which of these things you believe is happening.
The Basics of Disputing
The following information should be integrated into your correspondence with the bureau, creditor, or bill collector:
- Exactly what on your credit report you are claiming is inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable
- Why you believe that the report made should be removed
- Only facts that can be proven
- Any documents you have to support what you are claiming
- What you are expecting to happen as a result of your dispute
These are just the minimum items that should be incorporated into your letter. Feel free to include as much detail about the problem as you can.
It is easy to become overwhelmed and confused by the disputing process when it comes to repairing credit. There are agencies that have credit repair specialists with experience in getting the appropriate information to the right people so that the mistakes can be fixed. Save yourself a lot of time and headaches by leaving it to the professionals.