Mistakes On Your Credit Report
There are standard procedures to get rid of mistakes on your credit report;
however, remember that erasing report errors can take time. As the wheels
of correction grind slowly, there may be weeks -- or even months -- of
phone calls and exchanging of real mail or e-mail. If you believe an error
was made by a company you've done business with:
||Contact the company directly,
asking that a written statement of the error be sent
to all three credit bureaus.
||Make sure you follow up with all three
credit bureaus to guarantee that the changes have been
made by themerchant.
||Make photocopies of any documentation
that supports your claim.
|Write a letter to each credit bureau
that lists the mistake, stating what is wrong. Include
your full name, your middle name, address, date of birth
and Social Security number. Always remember to note whether
you are ajunior
or senior (Jr./Sr.).
If your name is mixed up with someone else's, include a copy of your birth
certificate. If there is an inscrutable error, such as confusion with another
person of the same name, the process can be quite lengthy. Mistaken identities
take a long time to clear up on a credit report; however, you are entitled
to submit a 100-word or less statement to each credit bureau explaining
the situation. It's a good idea to send it by certified mail, with a return
receipt. Your statement will be included with the credit report when anyone
makes an inquiry into your file, and it may help ease things while the
problem is being worked out.
If you disagree with a credit bureau's findings, you also may insert a
statement in your credit report without a charge. The statement must be
included every time the report is sent out. Send the letter by certified
mail and keep the receipt and a copy of your letter. Remember, you do have
||Under the Fair Credit
Reporting Act, the credit bureau is required to solve
the problem in a reasonable amount of time, generally
||If you feel that a credit bureau has
not responded promptly and fairly to your situation,
contact the attorney general of your state or the Federal
Trade Commission in Washington at 202-FTC-HELP.
Any correct negative information may remain on the report for no more than
seven years from the date of the last activity. Bankruptcies may be reported
for 10 years. If you have mistakes on your report or even if you have real
credit problems, there still are ways to get the loans you want.