September 13, 2018

How to Keep a Track of Your Credit Report and Fix Its Errors Yourself

By Sona Mathews
I’m a big fan of keeping track of my credit report. Most people have gotten ads from their credit card company talking about their “free” credit monitoring program that they are offering you because you’re a “valued customer.” They may even give you a check for $8 or so “just for signing up”. But when you read the fine print, you see that you get one month free, and then they charge you $90 a year for the service.

I don’t use those monitoring services. I monitor my credit report myself. A few years back, a law was passed requiring the three major credit monitoring agencies, Trans Union, Experian and Equifax to give consumers a ‘free copy’ of their credit report every year. Credit report monitoring from Smart Credit is important.

How to Keep a Track of Your Credit Report and Fix Its Errors Yourself: eAskme
How to Keep a Track of Your Credit Report and Fix Its Errors Yourself: eAskme

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(Just a warning, if you go directly to their sites, they will try to sell you your reports.) And since then, many, many people have taken advantage of the free annual credit report to see how they are doing and make sure there are no mistakes on their report.

But what some people don’t realize is that each of the agencies is required to give you a free credit report every year, and each of the agencies has almost the exact same data on you.

When you sign up at the free annual credit report site, they make it look like you should check all three agencies, but that’s really not necessary in almost any circumstance.
So just by getting one credit report, you can get a free credit report every four months.

This way I can just check my bookmarks and know when I am supposed to look at the report and which one I am supposed to use. All of the above bookmarks point to the free annual credit report site.

How to Fix an Error on a Credit Report All on Your Own…

How to Keep a Track of Your Credit Report and Fix Its Errors Yourself: eAskme

Now the question arises… How to fix your credit report errors? In a recent survey, it was found that of all credit reports surveyed; nearly 25 percent of them reported some sort of error. Many credit reports with errors go unnoticed to the person the credit report belongs to.

While in some cases, mistakes may be small, others can cause huge dips in your credit score. These dips in your credit score can disable your chances to get jobs, acquire loans from online lenders, as well as the ability to buy a new car or house.

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – the three big shot credit bureaus in charge of processing your credit information – crunch a lot of data. To say it can get easily mixed up is an understatement. The most common reasons for errors on a credit report are due to credit users with identical names.
Many times they are just filed on the incorrect report. This could cause you to see extra credit accounts on your report or a bankruptcy that you swear you never filed for. In one instance, one man that checked his credit report discovered he was listed as deceased!

If you believe your credit report has a problem, getting a reinvestigation on your credit report is absolutely free.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act finds it necessary that credit bureaus correct any inaccuracies and errors to be corrected, however, due to the massive amount of information they go through on a daily basis, most of these credit bureaus won’t even notice any mistakes on their own.

Get active and contact them yourself to get the proper action done on your credit reports. To file something that you think is an error on your credit report many credit bureaus now have online divisions that can help you deal with the problem however snail mail is still commonly used. To file by mail you will need to report several details to the agency in letter format.
  • Provide your full name, home address, your date of birth, as well as your social security number;
  • The company you are holding the dispute against and the account number for the disputed item with them;
  • List all the reasons for your argument with your credit report, as well as providing a list of what the information should be and why;
  • Finish the letter by requesting for the proper corrections to be made.
Make sure you’ve done your research before you apply for a re-investigation on your credit report. The more copies of correct information and evidence of mistakes the credit bureau may have made the better. If in the end the credit bureau doesn’t accept your dispute, you can ask for your documents to be included in your credit file for future reference.
A credit report re-investigation can’t delete negative facts – which can take up to 7 to 10 years to erase from your credit report - but if you feel there is honestly a mistake on your credit report, don’t fail to report it. It could be the difference between an excellent credit score and a poor credit score.

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