Most of us just go ahead and pay our bills on time, borrow money as we need it, pay it off as quickly as we can, and we simply assume that our credit score is just fine, because after all, you are current on all of your bills, right? This is most certainly not always the case. Mistakes on one’s credit score really occurs on far too frequent of a basis. Most of the time people don’t even realize that there is a mistake on their credit report until they try to go get a loan.
There are four primary reasons for mistakes in credit scores. The first one is that whichever company may just have made a mistake. A company may have continued to bill you after you cancelled a service, or they might have reported the account name incorrectly. Secondly, you can quite easily find yourself signed up for stuff that you may have simply forgotten about, such as that credit card you got in college because they gave you a free t-shirt. Finally, there’s always the possibility of identity theft. Someone may have fraudulently opened an account in your name, and are stealing money from the bank. Sometimes misbehaving credit collection agencies will report people that they shouldn’t, and try to use your credit report to blackmail into getting you to pay. There are a bunch of reasons your credit report could be inaccurate. Whatever the reason, you need to get them cleaned up!
If you find a mistake, you need to dispute that information. There are two ways that you can do this. The first thing you need to do is contact the person reporting that information via certified mail, return receipt requested. If they have made a genuine mistake, they’ll probably just retract the information from the credit report. If they do this, get a letter from the bank exonerating you of any charges so that in case it comes up again, you can prove that you paid it.
If the company just happens to blow you off, fortunately you have an alternative route. You can report to the three major credit agencies that the information is inaccurate. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you go to the websites of the three major credit reporting agencies, fill out an online form and explain why there is an error. The company will then have 30 days to prove the debt is accurate, otherwise if they ignore the inquiry or do not have valid reasoning, the information will be taken off.
In the unfortunate event that you have become a victim of identity theft, you need to take care of it immediate. You need to file a police report, and then start calling each of the companies that think you owe them money and sort through the situation. You also need to put a fraud victim alert on each of your three credit reports so that no more money can be stolen with your identity.