Your credit history is one of the most important assets you have; in fact, if you ever want to rent a home, take out a mortgage, or get a car loan, this will be a critical factor in determining eligibility. Not only that, but your credit history is also important for insurance and some jobs as well.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. You can get a free credit report every year from the major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. By reviewing your information annually, you can dispute errors for correction. These are six of the most common credit reporting errors and how to fix them.
Derogatory information may include charge-offs, delinquencies, foreclosures, lawsuits, short sales, repossessions, bankruptcies, and similar. Most derogatory information will be reported for 7 years before falling off. Bankruptcies may remain for up to 10 years, and some applications have no time limit on reporting.
There is no time limit on information regarding criminal convictions, in response to an application for more than $150,000 in life insurance or credit, or in response to a job application for a position paying over $75,000 annually.
Incorrect account information can have a negative impact on your credit report and credit score. Some of the most common account errors include:
Having the wrong personal information on your credit report may be as simple as a clerical error, but it could also imply that your account has been mistaken with someone else’s, especially in tandem with listing accounts that are not yours; therefore, verify your phone number, address, name, and employment information are accurate and spelled correctly.
If you have divorced after having joint accounts with your ex-spouse, those accounts may still be present on your report long after you finally separate your finances out. It is also possible that new accounts opened by your ex-spouse may appear after your divorce by mistake.
Seeing accounts that aren’t yours on your credit report is a major red flag. In other words, immediately check to see if your identity has been compromised, and make sure that your account has not been mistaken for someone with a similar name.
Sometimes, accounts are mistakenly listed multiple times on your credit report by the credit bureau. While this might seem harmless if the information listed is correct, it can also make it look like you have more debt and a higher debt-to-income ratio. Dispute duplicate accounts on your credit report as soon as you find them.
Resolving Errors on Your Credit Reports
Errors on your credit reports may be alarming at first, but you can dispute them to have them corrected. Write to the credit reporting agencies requesting corrections, detailing the disputed information, along with documentation proving that it is incorrect.
The agencies will investigate and respond to your request in writing, usually within a 45-day window. If their response does not resolve your dispute, don’t give up; be persistent with the credit bureaus.
If being persistent isn’t something that you are willing to make time for, then reach out to us. You can dispute those errors on your credit report with our team at Advanced Financial Services Group.