Our goal is to show you the benefits of building a good and ACCURATE credit history, to help raise your score as much as possible and to provide education on how to fix errors on credit reports, ultimately saving you thousands of dollars in fees.
WHY Check Your Credit Report
Because credit plays a very big role in your life — affecting your purchases and much more — making sure it is accurate is very important, and correcting mistakes and errors in reporting may take awhile.
Having an incorrect credit report can keep you from buying the home of your dreams. Don’t let that happen. ALSO, just a small difference in interest rates can cost you thousands in interest and fees. That tiny error on your credit report can be expensive.
Here’s an example: The difference in the total payments for a $400,000 mortgage over 30 years with only a .25% difference in the interest rate (say from 4.25% to 4.5%) is just over $21,200. That’s a lot of money for a reporting error, don’t you think?
So, it’s best to check BEFORE you need to take out a loan.
HOW to Check Your Credit Report
Here are 6 steps to check and correct errors.
1. Look at all of your credit reports from these three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You’re entitled to one free credit report per bureau per year. Compare to see if they’re the same. If one is different, it could be a clue there’s an error somewhere.
2. Make sure it’s really a mistake: Is it an inaccuracy in the report or an error from the creditor? If there’s an error or fraud…
3. Dispute the charge in writing. Inform the credit bureau(s) in writing of the inaccurate information, be specific. An example of a dispute letter is at the Federal Trade Commission website. Alternatively, you can dispute an error online through all three credit bureaus’ websites. But make sure you print out copies of all confirmation pages and related emails so you can prove that you disputed the claim if you need to later.
4. Call and write to the information provider (perhaps it’s an old doctor bill or a defunct department store for which you’ll have to discover the new owner) that you are disputing an item in your credit report.
Also, you might want to know the law and your rights relating to how long negative reports can be shown on your credit report. Some of these laws have changed.
5. Be persistent — You may have to go back a few times to get this wiped clean, especially if some of the companies or creditors involved are out of business and the credit bureau is having trouble finding them. Keep detailed records, in case you need to inform the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). And, in those cases it may take months to get it cleared.
6. Escalate the dispute to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you’re not receiving an answer within 30 days, even if it’s to tell you they’re having trouble locating the creditor.
PLEASE NOTE WHEN CORRECTING ERRORS:
Under the FCRA, both the credit reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take advantage of all your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider. Your credit file may not reflect all your credit accounts. Although most national department store and all-purpose bank credit card accounts will be included in your file, not all creditors supply information to credit reporting companies: some local retailers, credit unions, travel, entertainment, and gasoline card companies are among the creditors that don’t.
Be aware, however, that even when negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal. A credit reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years.
* Treat your credit dealings with respect. * Pay your bills on time. * Check your credit rating yearly with all three bureaus.
You can save lots of headaches and money if you do.
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Want to know more about checking your credit errors, raising your credit rating, or ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT BUYING OR SELLING A HOME…
Call me at: 949-484-6322
Buying or selling a home is a big decision. Don’t go it alone.
We save our clients an average of $25,000 on their home loans.