As a consumer, you must be aware of how your credit and credit score can impact your financial worthiness and affect your everyday living. Without good credit you risk paying more for your credit cards, mortgage loans and insurance as well as risk getting a job. Experts say that despite the importance of your credit, only approximately two thirds of consumers have checked their credit in the past year and one fifth of consumers have never checked their credit. Considering that almost 20% of credit reports contain errors, this number is concerning. Checking your credit can save you money and will keep you on top of your finances.
Credit Report Errors
While experts say that as many as 20% of reports contain errors, not all errors are substantial. You may ask yourself what the difference is between a substantial and non substantial error. Well, a credit report merged with another consumer could be considered fairly substantial. After all, some strangers information is affecting your credit. However, an inaccurate employment history would more than likely not cause harm to your credit. Pulling your credit report regularly, or at the very least once a year, will help ensure the accuracy of your report. For a responsible consumer who works hard to keep his or her credit in check, not pulling your report to check for accurate information could be destroying your credit you worked so hard to maintain.
Disputing Errors under the FCRA
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) you are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three big credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. You can access your free report by logging on to AnnualCreditReport.com. Should you pull your report and find inaccurate information, under the FCRA you are entitled to dispute the inaccurate information with the credit reporting agencies and request an investigation. The most efficient way to dispute an error is to send the credit reporting agencies a letter with documentation to support your claim. Sending the letter via certified mail will allow you to track receipt of the letter as the credit bureaus only have 30 days to conduct an investigation and report the results to you. Make sure to save copies of all communication so that if the result is not favorable you have proof you requested an investigation. The good news is that if you send a dispute letter, experts say that as much as 20% of consumers who disputed inaccurate information with the credit reporting agencies saw an increase in their credit score.
If you are one of the consumers who have never reviewed your credit, there is no better time than now to access your report. If you are in need of legal assistance and would like the advice of counsel, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.