If an issue comes up in your credit report, it is advisable to address as it soon as you can. You may not be planning on taking out a loan in the foreseeable future but your credit score is important for other purposes.
Landlords, insurance companies as well as potential employers look at your credit score before they consider your application. Therefore, shrugging off an error may turn out to be a huge problem for you.
Two-Pronged Approach to Fixing Your Credit Report
There are two ways you can approach this sensitive situation and get back on track.
- See the credit agencies and fix the issue from there
- Handle it with the creditor that reported the problem
Fix from the Credit Agencies
You will need information on how credit agencies work as well as the kind of information they store. The first thing you do is seek to understand what the problem is. Your latest credit report should give you this information.
If you do not have access to a recent credit report, you can get a free government credit report and learn what it says. You are owed a free annual credit report.
Sell tradeline to fix bad credit and change your credit report. However, if the report is an error by the credit agency and they need to edit their report, get copies of the relevant documents. You will need to gather information that proves that the credit agency is required to edit their documentation regarding your credit issue.
Send the agency a letter and attach copies of the documentation as well as instructions on how the anomaly should be fixed. The letter should include the following details:
- Your name in full and contact details, date of birth and Social Security Number
- The name of the creditor
- Details of the account in dispute such as the account number and when it opened
- Specific details of what the problem is and how you would like it addressed as well as the updating of your credit report
- Notes and references of the documents that are enclosed
You should also enclose any names and previous addresses used during the period of dispute.
The credit agency will investigate your claim and fix the issue within 30 days. They must inform you of the results after they have fixed the problem.
Fix the Error with the Creditor
This option requires you to send the same information that you would send to the credit agency. Make a follow-up call a few weeks later to inquire about the action they have taken. The advantage of getting the creditor to fix the problem is that the same issue is unlikely to crop up in the future.
A credit reporting agency must investigate your claim even in the absence of documentation proving your case. Some of the reasons you might have a credit error that needs to be fixed include:
- Clerical errors
- A former spouse’s credit issues that may be linked to you
- Your Social Security Number was recorded erroneously leading to the bad debt being listed in your name
Bad credit can affect you in too many ways for it to be brushed off. If it comes to your attention, you must take steps to have an error corrected as soon as possible to avoid problems in future.