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5 Ways to Correct Your Credit Report

Posted on the 21 February 2012 by Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum
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Your credit score can make or break you, but sometimes the information contained on your credit report is false or outdated. This can cause you to be turned down for loans, denied housing and even put you at risk of not landing a job that requires credit checks.


In order to qualify for any of these, you may find yourself having to clean up your credit report, but how can you go about doing this?


1. Obtain a copy of your credit report and determine what information is incorrect.


Everyone is entitled to a free copy of their credit report every year. You are also entitled to an additional copy if you are denied credit, such as a credit card or mortgage, because of the information contained in the report.


Those who are unemployed and looking for work are also entitled to an additional free copy, as well as those that receive public assistance, those who have been denied employment based on credit report information and if you suspect identity theft or errors on the report.


Some states even allow you to receive additional copies for other reasons. If you have already obtained a free report within the last year and don’t qualify to receive another one, you can pay the minimal fee to receive it at any time. Once you have the report, circle any information that appears fraudulent or outdated. This includes any outstanding accounts that you have paid off but were not removed or updated as being paid.


2. Contact the creditors.


Call or write to the creditors that have listed the disputed information on your credit report. Let them know that you will be submitting a dispute with the reporting agency and state your reasons why. In most cases, the creditors will correct the error before you contact the reporting agency to correct the disputes, which will help the investigation process go much smoother.


3. Write to the agency’s address listing on the credit report.


You will want to explain the dispute and request that the agency investigates to reach a resolution. Be sure to include copies of any supporting paperwork, not your originals. Paperwork you may want to send includes correspondence with a creditor proving you paid off the amount, copies of checks written and any written agreements indicating a creditor would update your report as “paid in full”.


The letter you send should include the paperwork enclosures as well as your name and address. List in the letter the items you are disputing and include a copy of the report with the circled items. Simply state the facts and explain in detail why you dispute the information on file. Request that it be corrected or removed.


4. Send the documents via certified mail.


This is important because you have the option of requesting a return receipt. You will know that the packet was received and can prove it reached its destination if the agency says otherwise.


5. Review the updated report.


Once the investigation is complete, the reporting agency will send you a new copy of the updated report. If an error was uncovered, ask that the credit report be sent to anyone who had received it during the past six months or so. Check the report each year to make sure no other items need to be disputed, especially if you take on new credit accounts.


If the listed item was valid and could not be cleaned up from your report, use websites like MoneySupermarket as a source of information on all types of financial products. Sites like this may help guide you to credit cards, loans and other products that cater to those with bad credit.


This article was written by Sam, you can view your credit report here.


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