Slander of credit, sometimes known as credit defamation, is a serious issue that can significantly damage your financial health and overall credit reputation. Despite this, most people don’t even know what slander of credit is, or how to recognize it.
We’re going to take a deep look into the slander of credit, including what it is, and the key components that characterize it. We’ll also go over some of the steps you can take to protect yourself and fight back against these inaccuracies and falsehoods.
Let’s start by defining slander of credit. Slander of credit occurs when one party intentionally, or negligently, provides false information about your creditworthiness which leads to harm or damage to your credit reputation. This misinformation often leads to loan denials, higher interest rates on financial products, and ongoing damage to your professional credit reputation. Slander of credit can be committed by anyone, from individuals, to businesses, or even by the reporting agencies themselves.
To be able to bring a valid claim of slander of credit, you must be able to show proof that the four elements are present. These elements are false statements, malice or negligence, publication, and damage.
This element requires that the information provided about your creditworthiness be provably incorrect or misleading. False statements can manifest in various forms, including incorrect payment history, falsely reported delinquencies, or unauthorized credit inquiries. These inaccuracies can lead to lower credit scores, and the negative impact they cause can make it difficult to obtain loans or similar financial services.
The next element that needs to be present in your claim is malice or negligence. The party providing the false statements must have done so either intentionally, with malice, or carelessly, through negligence. In cases of malice, false statements are deliberately used to harm your credit reputation, due to a variety of reasons like grudges or business disputes.
In cases of negligence, the party that made the false statements did so without intending harm, but failed to exercise reasonable due diligence in verifying the accuracy of the information either way, the party is responsible for sharing the false statements.
The false statement must be communicated to a third party, such as a potential lender or creditor. This element is critical to the claim since slander of credit requires that the false statement be shared beyond the source. In one example, a creditor disseminates a false statement of payment history, diminishing your creditworthiness to potential lenders, employers, and even landlords.
This meets the requirement for publication. The publication can also occur in many different ways, from verbal communication to digital data transmission.
The final element required to show slander of credit is damage. You must have suffered harm as a result of the false information, such as denial of credit, elevated interest rates or other unfavorable terms, or damage to your reputation.
Demonstrating or proving damage caused by the slander of credit is crucial if you intend on pursuing legal action, but your legal representative can help you find ways to prove it. Make sure you keep detailed records of everything related to your slander of credit issues.
If you think you’ve been the victim of slander of credit, follow these steps to give yourself the best chance at combating the negative effects:
Request a copy of your credit report from all three bureaus. You can get one of each for free every 12 months, or you can use one of the many popular credit apps like CreditKarma to monitor for changes.
Conduct an intensive review of all items on all credit reports, and note any inaccuracies. In these, look for signs of slander of credit, like unauthorized inquiries, inaccurate late payments, or incorrect balances.
Start by contacting the creditor or reporting entity, and advising them of the issue. They may be able to offer an immediate resolution. If they’re unable to help, file a dispute with the credit bureau on whose report the item is located.
In some cases, no matter how diligently you attempt to resolve the slander of credit matter, you will be unsuccessful. In this case, consider speaking with a leading consumer credit attorney like Fair Credit. They can help you take effective legal action against the responsible party, as well as pursue compensation for damages.
Monitor your credit reports consistently, and immediately act on any inaccuracies or ongoing signs of slander. Being proactive can help you prevent additional damage from issues that pop up.
Make sure you’re always cautious of where and how you share personal details and financial information. Use strong passwords, and avoid sharing any potentially sensitive or personal details over social media.
Make all payments on time, focus on a low utilization ratio, and keep a healthy mix of credit products to build a strong credit history that is resistant to errors.
Keep lines of communication open with your creditors, and keep them apprised of any financial difficulties you may be experiencing. They may be able to help or offer payment plans.
Making sure you are familiar with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) can help you more effectively care for your credit over the long term.
If you’ve exhausted all avenues of disputes, as well as your patience, and are still dealing with credit inaccuracies, you may have a slander of credit claim, and Fair Credit may be able to help. Don’t let slander of credit hold you back from reaching your financial goals. Contact Fair Credit today for more information or to get started with a consultation, and start reclaiming your financial health.