Consumers are advised to check their credit reports before submitting application to any lender. In this article, let’s discuss how you can check your credit report and what you can do about errors in your report.
Checking Your Credit Score
Since the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act took effect, consumers are entitled to get a free copy of their credit reports yearly. You can visit annualcreditreport.com to request for a free report. This website is supported by the three major credit bureaus- Equifax, Experian and Trans-Union in compliance to the legislation.
Credit report checking must be done at least 6 months prior to submitting credit application so you can have time to work on improving your credit score, in case you need to. It also protects you from the risk of having a damaged credit history as result of Identity Theft.
Examining your Credit Report
As soon as you get a copy of your report, check if all the details under the Personal Identification section are correct. Be sure to check if your name is correctly spelled and that there are no missing digits in your Social Security number, address, or Driver’s License Number. Bear in mind that even the slightest discrepancy can result to mistaken identity.
Under the credit history section, see to it that there are no false or unauthorized charges in any of your accounts. Are there bills that you have already paid that are still appearing as past due in your report? If you find any mistakes, you must call the creditor involved immediately to clarify the issue. Follow up your call with a letter of dispute and send it through registered post mail.
The next step is to send a letter of dispute to the bureau that issued your report. In your letter, point out the items in question. Include a photocopy of your report with the false details clearly marked or encircled. You can also include support documents such as a photocopy of your payment receipt.
Upon receiving your dispute letter, the credit bureau has 30 days to do an investigation about your complaint. After this period, you can expect a response from the credit bureau via a letter. If your dispute has been validated, you will receive a free and updated copy of your credit report along with the letter from the bureau.