Editorial Policy

Not Fixing That Error Can Really Cost You

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By Steven Gibbs
June 24, 2009

Credit ReportDid you know that around 70% of all credit reports contain at least one error? In many cases, these errors go unnoticed until the consumer applies for a loan, and in many cases is turned away. This is the same when you apply for a credit card. When evaluating credit card applications, credit card issuers rely deeply on the information presented in credit reports. Not only does it help in the decision to extend you credit, but it is also one of the main factors in the interest rate you will be paying on your purchases. With that said, it should be easy to understand that obtaining and fixing any errors on your credit report and before you apply for a credit card could increase the chance of getting the card of your choice, and getting you a interest rate that you are comfortable with.


 If after reviewing your credit reports you have found errors, you should send a separate letter to each credit reporting agency (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) in which the error was found. In these letters you must explain in detail the situation and why this is an error. With each letter you must also include a copy of that credit report with the erroneous information highlighted. Any additional paperwork that you have showing why you are disputing (receipts, contract, etc.) is always good when disputing. By law, credit reporting agencies must investigate any errors that are found, and will speak with the creditor that supplied the data which is in dispute. If the creditor admits to the error the reporting agency will remove that error from their report promptly and without damage to your credit rating. If the creditor does not admit to error, then you will need to file a statement detailing your account of the situation, which will be filed in future reports that other creditors receive. Bankrate provides a great form letter for fixing any credit report mistakes.


When it comes to your credit report you must remember that you do not send in the information that comprises your credit history, your creditors do. But, you are accountable for the accuracy of the information contained in each of your credit reports. This is why it is very important to check your credit report regularly and before requesting a loan of any size. If you do find a mistake please remember it is not difficult to get rid of the errors. It is just time-consuming, but well worth it. There may be weeks or months of phone calls and or sending out mail, but the end result could be getting a loan with an interest rate that you can handle.