How to Fix Mistakes on My Credit Report

fix mistakes on my credit reportHow important is it to fix mistakes on my credit report?

Past due accounts and other financial mistakes that appear on your credit report negatively impact your score. The lower your score the less likely companies are to extend you credit and grant access to leases, loans, and other financial tools. It’s important to do all you can to avoid negative marks on your credit.

But what if a negative mark on your credit report is a mistake? What if a creditor reported you for something that didn’t occur or the credit reporting bureau accidentally added a negative mark in error?

How do you correct mistakes on your credit report and why it is so important to do so?

Are You Sure It’s a Mistake?

First, you need to determine if the issue is a mistake. Determine which account the mistake pertains to. Is it a credit account you currently have? Is it one that was paid off in the past? Or is an account that was never your responsibility? If it’s the latter, all you’ll need to do is prove to the credit reporting bureau that it’s not your account.

If it’s an account that is currently yours or was yours in the past, removing the mistake could take a bit more effort on your part. You’ll need to show the credit reporting bureau why there is a mistake. One of the ways you can do this is by submitting a dispute claim.

Submitting a Dispute to the Credit Bureau

Once you determine that the listing on your credit report is in error, you’ll need to file a dispute with the credit bureau. Remember, there are three credit reporting bureaus. You’ll want to check reports from all three bureaus and submit dispute claims to any of them that include the mistake.

You’ll need to file your claim online or by mail. If you start by contacting the credit bureau by phone or email, make sure you follow up with an online claim or email.

Once the credit bureau receives your dispute claim, they’ll investigate the claim and remove the entry once it’s determined to be an error.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects a consumer’s legal right to dispute errors on their reports. You can learn more about the Fair Credit Reporting Act here.

Contacting the Creditor

Another option for resolving a mistake on your credit report is to contact the creditor that reported the erroneous information.

This allows you to bypass the credit bureau(s) and go directly to the source of the error. It also means that they’ll be responsible for contacting each of the credit bureaus that have the mistake listed on your report, which saves you time and frustration.

Keep in mind, it’s still your responsibility to review your credit reports to make sure they removed the mistake after you’ve dealt with the creditor.

What Can You Do If Something Negative on Your Report is Not an Error?

If you have a negative mark on your report that is not a mistake, there might still be things you can do to lessen its impact on your credit.

For example, a pay for delete offer allows you to pay the account in question in full. As a result, the negative details are removed from your credit report. Not all creditors accept pay for delete offers, but if they approve your request, you won’t need to worry about past mistakes haunting you. Offering to pay the account off in full in exchange for the removal of late payments from your credit report is a negotiating tool.

Another option is to request a goodwill deletion. This is a tool available for paid off accounts still wreaking havoc on your credit score. In a goodwill request, you ask the creditor to remove the negative account since it’s now paid off. Essentially, you’re asking the creditor to do you a favor and you have no negotiating power as you do with a pay for delete offer. With this, you’ll need to rely on the creditor’s goodwill.

If you don’t achieve success with either of these options, your only choice is to wait out the account. Most negative marks remain on your report for seven years. Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for up to 10 years.

The good news is the impact doesn’t remain the same for all of those years. The more time that passes, assuming you keep your credit report clean, the less you’ll need to worry about late payments and other issues with your credit.

How Can An Experienced Attorney Help Me Fix Mistakes on My Credit Report?

Negative information on your credit report can haunt you for years. It is bad enough dealing with negative marks from mistakes you’ve made. Denial of credit due to a reporting error is especially frustrating.

If you’d like to discuss your options for correcting mistakes on your credit report or you need to speak to someone about taking drastic action to fix your credit, we can help. Contact R. Flay Cabiness, II, P.C. at (912) 417-5041 (Brunswick, GA); (912) 809-2141 (Hazlehurst, GA) or; (912) 324-3176 (Jesup, GA) to schedule a consultation.

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Hazlehurst, GA 31539
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Jesup, GA 31545
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