A credit bureau can be a vital part of your financial life. If you are trying to buy a home or even get auto financing, a great credit report can make all the difference in your life. It can determine where you receive financing for your vehicle or it can determine whether or not you get your next job. The first thing that someone needs to know about you is whether you have good credit. A good credit score is crucial to virtually everything in life.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or the FCRA, was enacted by the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that individuals can challenge inaccurate or erroneous credit reports and to protect consumers from identity theft and fraud. Among other things, this law requires the three major credit bureaus to provide you with a free credit report annually. This report contains important information about your financial history and it will allow you to see if there are any errors on your report. If there is an error, you have the right to dispute the item and the company will have thirty days to look into it and correct the mistake.
However, there is something to be said for being able to dispute an item on your report without having to wait for the thirty days provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are actually many companies in the business that will monitor your credit report for you and notify you whenever anything that is reported is untrue. Many of these companies can also provide you with a good idea of what to do next. For example, if the error is something as simple as an incorrect name, the next step may be to remove that name from your credit report and to re-name your accounts (however, if the error is something more serious like a debt that you have not paid off, the process can vary).
While you should be aware of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you will probably find that it does not apply to you if the incorrect information was caused by your own actions. For instance, if you have made a mistake on your application and were denied credit, you cannot file a dispute until the mistake has been corrected. In most cases, this means that you have to take the new application process to another department, and this process can take several weeks. The other problem comes if you filed the dispute with the wrong agency. Most consumers would not be granted timely relief if they tried to file with the same credit reporting bureau that they informed the credit bureau that they want to report to.
This is why it is best to monitor your credit reports constantly, and it is not difficult to do so. You can check one of the many consumer reports available online on a daily basis and you will instantly see any changes that have been reported to the various credit bureaus. If there is an error, you will immediately know that it is not correct, or at least has not been updated. Many consumers end up making changes to their credit reports simply because they forget to inform the credit bureaus that a mistake has been made. It can also help to keep in mind that most credit reports contain different information for different accounts.
One of the easiest ways to monitor your credit reports is to go through the annual credit report website. This portal will let you see all of your credit accounts listed in order, as well as those that are not in your current account. The difference between the two types of accounts will tell you which is the incorrect information. You can then go through the website to correct this information, and this is a simple process that takes only a few minutes to complete.
This post was written by Kristian D’An, owner of Lux Credit LLC and CCA board certified credit repair specialist. Lux Credit offers credit repair services for those looking to improve their credit! Click here for more information.