If you discover an error on your credit report, don’t panic! There are ways to mend it. The first step, of course, is to find out whether this is actually an error. Talk to your creditors to double check the details on your report before doing anything else.
Once you’re sure the error lies with the Bureau, the first step is writing a strong letter. Here is what you need to know about round 1 letters.
Writing to the Credit Bureau
Are you wondering how to get started? Do you often sit in front of a blank screen when letter-writing? Don’t worry – we can help.
Start gathering all evidence related to the error. Anything you can use to prove the error has occurred, such as bank statements, credit limit reports, and other correspondence.
Make copies of everything. Along with a copy of the credit report showing the issue (consider highlighting or circling it), send a handwritten letter (so it cannot be read by a machine) and all copies of evidence. These should go to the credit bureau and the creditor who reported the mistake.
What’s a Credit Bureau Evaluation?
Once they receive your letter, the credit bureau and reporting creditor need to have a conversation about your situation. They have 30-45 days to analyze your dispute. The process typically begins by the credit bureau contacting the creditor to discover what is happening with your account.
At this stage, sit back and wait. The creditor will dig through their files to figure out what’s gone wrong (if anything). It’s up to them to prove the dispute is or is not accurate.
The decision made by the creditor will be respected by the Bureau. If the creditor can’t prove the report as true, the error must be removed from your credit report.
What happens when a conclusion is made? After the final determination, you will receive a findings report. This will arrive in letter form.
If the creditor was unable to prove their reporting was correct (for example, if they reported a particular missed payment but are unable to back it with evidence), your credit report will be adjusted. If you’re wondering how you’ll access the new report, you’ll be pleased to know you’ll receive a free copy.
This free report will not count against your annual free report you are entitled to. They will also inform any lenders who have done a credit check on you in the past six months. Has your erroneous report gone against you at work? If so, employers who have reviewed your credit report within the last two years can be notified of the change.
There’s always a chance, unfortunately, that the final report with revised findings still doesn’t reflect your report accurately. If you think further errors have been made, or if the original error hasn’t been resolved properly, you still have options. This is why it’s important to keep the final decision letter; it will contain a note as to why the credit report has or hasn’t changed. This may come in handy in the future.
Help is Here!
If letter-writing isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry. Our advisors are on hand to help write a well-supported letter to prove your credit report is inaccurate.
Remember: doing nothing about a reporting error can lead to serious financial problems in the future, especially if you want to obtain further credit. Give us a call today, and we will help you fight to correct errors.