Have you struggled with the consequences of inaccurate or unfair credit reporting? Is your score now lower than it should be, due to errors or inconsistencies that are not your fault? You are not alone. There are thousands of consumers who face these issues every day, but there are solutions.
We’re going to look at these solutions, and how you can use them to fight back against unfair credit reporting. You are owed an accurate and complete credit report, and with the right actions you can restore your financial reputation. If you go through all of the conventional channels and still can’t get the inaccuracies corrected, you may be able to take legal action with the help and advocacy of Fair Credit.
Credit reporting errors can have a significant impact on your entire life since your credit report is so widely used. These consequences can be far-reaching, and very long-lasting.
For those who need some extra funds or flexibility, they can prevent you from getting a loan or a credit card. If you do manage to get approved, you may be subject to other consequences of damaged credit like higher interest rates, less favorable lending terms, and more.
The negative impact of unfair credit reporting is so significant that it can even impact your personal and professional life. Unfair credit reporting can mean getting denied for a mortgage and even denied for an apartment rental. In many cases, potential employers will run a credit check on prospective employees, which means unfair credit reporting can stop you from getting a job.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law created to promote and enforce the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information that is contained in the files of consumer credit reporting agencies. The FCRA guarantees several rights for the average consumer, including the right to:
You are legally entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three primary credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can get each one from the respective websites, or from AnnualCreditReport.com, which is the only authorized central website for collecting all credit reports.
The FCRA also gives you the right to officially dispute any errors or inaccuracies that you discover in your credit report. The disputes can be filed with both the credit reporting agency as well as the creditor, lender, or other business that provided the inaccurate data.
Another significant right provided to consumers by the FCRA is the right to seek damages for violations of the FCRA. This means if a business or credit reporting agency violates your consumer rights, you may be eligible for legal recourse and compensation. This compensation can include damages caused by denial of financial or credit products, as well as for damages to your credit-based reputation.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of unfair credit reporting, you can use the dispute process to help repair the damage that unfair credit reporting has done to your credit history, just follow these steps.
The first step to fighting unfair credit reporting is to make sure you have the most recent, up-to-date information. Get the most recent versions of your credit reports from all three agencies, and review them closely for any inaccuracies, inconsistencies, or even typos. Note each one, the nature of the error, and the reporting party.
For each credit inaccuracy you find, you will need to gather relevant documentation that will support your position or assertion. In a credit dispute, this includes anything related to the dispute, such as identification records, account statements, payment records, and even correspondence with the creditor or lender.
Before filing a dispute with the credit agency, you may be able to contact the party reporting the inaccurate information. In many cases, they can offer a satisfactory solution at that time. They may require similar documentation or evidence as part of their official process, but they’ll advise you of what they need beforehand.
If you aren’t able to get the issue resolved by working directly with the reporting party, you’ll likely need to follow up by filing a dispute directly with the credit reporting agency. This will generally require a clear explanation of the error, the corrected information, and copies of any supporting documentation that can back up the claims made in your dispute.
If you communicate electronically, be sure you keep copies of all communication between you and the creditor company.
Now that you’ve either disputed the inaccurate information with the credit agencies and creditors, you’ll need to keep an eye on your reports for updates. Since they won’t tell you when the errors are corrected, you will need to monitor your credit reports closely for several months following.
This will also help you get much more intimately acquainted with the information in those reports, making it easier to spot inaccuracies in the future.
While this process usually works to the satisfaction of the consumer, there are times when disputes are not resolved satisfactorily. Sometimes, there is just a lot to do and the process is overwhelming. In situations like these, consider hiring a legitimate company to help repair your credit, or an attorney experienced in consumer credit law, to help you accomplish your goals.
If you’ve gone through the proper channels and given creditors and credit bureaus plenty of time to fix reporting errors and they still have neglected to do so, Fair Credit may be able to help. Our team of legal experts specializes in credit reporting issues like unfair credit reporting and slander of credit and can help you take legal action to protect your credit.