Expert Debt Management
Expert Debt Management
Researching and Fixing Inaccuracies in your Credit Report

     Many people don't give their credit report much thought until they apply for a loan or some type of credit.  Your credit report is one of the biggest deciding factors as to whether or not you will qualify for financing.  You need to be sure that you know what is on your credit report before you apply for any financing so you can find and fix any inaccuracies that are on your report.  The lender doesn't look or even consider whether the information is accurate, all they consider is the overall score and your ability to pay off debts.  To view your credit report, you should get a three in one report, which will allow you to view all of the information from all three credit bureaus.

     When you get your report you may look over it and see many legitimate debts but then you may also see many charges that do not belong to you.  What do you do?  Many of us assume that these will be repaired on their own, but if you don't look at your credit report and dispute the charges no one is going to do it for you!  What you should know is that credit report errors are very common and if you find any errors you need to act on them.

     If you find that there are inaccuracies you should contact the credit agency by letter and let them know that the debt is not yours.  You will need to provide evidence of the fact that the debt isn't yours, such as the fact that you didn't live in the area that the debt originated, proof that the debt has been paid or a discharge notice from the creditor.  When you send the letter in, you also need to provide a copy of your credit report so they know which debt or debts you are referring to.  You can also include a form created for credit disputes.

     After you contact the agency you should then contact the creditor that reported the debt to the agencies.  You will want to contact them in writing and provide all of the same documentation to them as you did to the credit agency.  When you have done this you will then need to wait about 30 days.  Within this 30 days the company needs to get back to you about the debt and why they have changed the debt reported to the credit agencies or not.

Your Legal Rights Pertaining to Your Credit

     Many consumers feel helpless when it comes to their credit because they feel as though there are more laws against them than that protect them.  The great news is that there are many different laws in place to help protect you, the consumer, from many different issues or acts depending on your situation.  You should know and understand these laws to ensure that you are being treated fairly.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

     This act is important for you to know and understand because it allows for you to view your credit report and also request that inaccurate information be changed.  Before this act was enacted, consumers had a very difficult time viewing their own credit report, which made it difficult to uncover inaccuracies that were holding them back from getting the financing that they needed.  This is a law that has made keeping your credit report accurate much easier and has also helped to stop identity theft in its tracks.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

     This is another law that you should know about.  This act ensures that creditors give all consumers the same fair and equal consideration for their services.  Of course, the act does not mean that you will be approved for every financing option that you apply for, but it does mean that the creditor will give your request for financing serious consideration.  This act ensures that creditors are not discriminating based on sex, marital status, race, religion, nationality, or age.

Fair Credit Billing Act

     Consumers should also know about this law, especially if they are disputing debts that appear on their credit report.  This act ensures that an inaccurate credit report can be corrected  promptly and that credit ratings will be protected while a charge is being disputed.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

     This is a law that many people have been able to use to their advantage.  This law ensures that creditors do not use unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices to collect on a debt.  This is a law that has done away with a lot of the harassment that was reported on the behalf of consumers who were dealing with creditors that use scare tactics to get people to pay up.  This law does not cover all creditors, rather it keeps "reliable" creditors from harassing the consumer in any way.

Disclaimer: This site is not , nor should it be taken to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. It merely provides a generalized guidance and generalized information only. Consult a financial advisor or an attorney to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit and debt decisions.
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