Your credit report is a snapshot of your financial history. It includes details of accounts and loans in your name, how much you borrowed, whether you have missed payments and if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, been sued or arrested. The major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) are given this information by creditors and compile it to create your credit reports.
If you have a solid handle on your finances, you’re probably confident about what’s in your report. But that doesn’t mean you’re safe from errors that could be lurking there . What if someone steals your identity and racks up bad debt and delinquent accounts in your name? Inaccuracies on your credit report can create problems for your personal and business finances, so it’s important to check for errors and fix them.
Credit reports are used by lenders to determine whether you meet their qualifications for loans and may even be used to decide whether you qualify for insurance or if you can rent a house or apartment. Considering how many financial situations depend on credit reports, it’s important for the information to be accurate. Request a free copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Ask for a correction
If you discover errors in your credit report, contact the credit bureau and ask for a correction. Submit your dispute in writing, along with copies of documents supporting your position, such as canceled checks or account statements.
Here’s how to write a dispute letter:
The credit bureau is required to investigate any disputed items, typically within 30 days (unless the disputed items are considered frivolous). Once the investigation is complete, you must be given the results in writing and a free copy of your report if any changes are made. You also may ask the credit bureau to send notices of corrections to anyone who received your report in the last six months.
For more information on your rights and how to dispute credit report errors, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website. California Bank & Trust is your ally in keeping your informed about the latest fraud threats. Visit our Fraud Prevention Center for more resources to help safeguard your personal and business finances[cite::171::cite] [cite::172::cite].