Keep Your Credit History Clean. Remove A Negative Credit Record From Credit Report
by Jeffrey Broobin
The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Trans Union are similar and feature a "Credit Score", which is created from credit report data submitted to them about you.
But very often your credit report includes inaccurate, wrong or incomplete information (credit records).
In this situation you have to prepare and send letters to each of the credit bureaus. Also learn your credit rights by familiarizing yourself with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The FCRA gives you the right to dispute inaccuracies or omissions, and it requires credit bureaus to investigate your complaint (generally within 30 days), send you a prompt response and correct any errors. The law also requires the source of inaccurate information (such as a bank) to correct the record at the credit bureaus to which it initially provided the erroneous information.
Consumers working on their credit reports say many times their letters are ignored by the credit bureaus. Consumer's say even with proof a credit record is not theirs; its removal from their credit report can take three or four challenge letters, because the credit bureaus may have only verified it in their computers and not on the credit report.
Send your dispute letter by CERTIFIED RETURN RECEIPT MAIL. This should not be done with the first attempt.
Keep a record of when you sent the dispute letters and what date you should expect a response.
If you have received no answer to your dispute after 30 to 37 days, send a certified return receipt letter requesting an updated credit report demanding the disputed credit record be deleted.
If the bureaus do not reply within the 30 days, it must be that the information was either inaccurate, or it could not be verified. In either case, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit record must be immediately deleted from credit report.
Some consumers have eliminated negative marks on credit reports simply by going through this process of disputing credit records several times. Since some creditors will not take the time to respond, you may be able to win by default.
In addition, some consumers working on their credit report have seen another negative credit record or two disappeared. Usually some progress is made each time you challenge. Remember, the credit bureau would like you to quit bothering them because if you aren't disputing the credit report, they can legally continue selling it as profitable information.
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Your credit score is important for obtaining credit. Your credit score is important to know, whether you need a new credit card, an auto loan, or a mortgage. Lenders use your credit scores to decide whether you are a good credit risk. If you have a high credit score, you are more likely to obtain the best rates.
Jeffrey Broobin is a free-lance writer on family and finance issues; his main goal is to help people during their complicated period of life.