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24
Jan

7 Ways to Fix Your Credit (part 4)

4. Clean Up Credit Report Errors

There’s been abundant research on the accuracy of credit reporting by many groups including government studies. They all report varying degrees of accuracy and yet all agree that there’s millions of Americans suffering from errors on their credit reports.

These errors are serious enough to cause significant credit score damage. And unlike the criminal judicial system when it comes to credit reporting you’re assumed guilty until proven innocent.

This is one of the primary purposes Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This legislation gives you the right to dispute and challenge any item on your credit report that you believe is questionable, inaccurate, or made in error.

It also requires the credit bureaus to investigate consumer disputes and if an item is unverifiable then by law it must be removed from your credit report. As mentioned the credit bureaus remove millions of negative listings on consumers credit reports every year.

You can file your dispute online, over the phone, and by mail. You’ll need to dispute each credit bureau separately. For example if you have charge off on your Experian credit report you’d need to file an Experian dispute directly with them. If this charge off is also on your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports, then you’d need to file two additional credit report disputes with each bureau.

Once the credit bureaus receive your dispute and find it valid, then they’ll conduct what they call a re-investigation of the item. During which they’ll contact the original lender or creditor and ask them to verify your account and any pertinent details.

If your account is verified or updated with accurate information then it’ll remain on your credit report. However the more common result is the account isn’t verified and the negative listing must be removed from your credit report. Thus eliminating the cause of bad credit.