For those who don’t fully understand what a credit report is, it is essentially your history of managing money and repaying debt which then calculates a score based on those factors.
Having a good or bad credit score can impact how likely you are to receive things such as loans but it will also impact the interest rates you have to pay on anything you have loaned. If you have a low credit score you will be charged higher interest rates than if you have a good credit score.
A good credit score is considered as anything being above 880.
Obviously there are plenty of things that can impact your credit score such as financial hardship. One other thing is if you have incorrect items on your credit report, This can negatively impact your score and it may not even be your fault.
However, if you think that this has happened to you and it has hindered your credit score there are a few things that you can do to get the removed and get your credit score looking much healthier in the eyes of your lenders.
Filing A Dispute
One thing that you can do to remove any incorrect information from your credit score is to file a dispute with your credit agency. The reason for this letter is that you think a mistake has been made with your report. What this does is notify your agency that you believe there has been a mistake made.
Creditors are required by law to report information that is correct. So once you do this they will have a legal obligation to investigate and reply to the claim you have made.
You can do this online or through mail. However, you will need to provide information on what exactly you are disputing. Once the agency has received your dispute claim they themselves will dispute it for you if they feel the error is correct.
You can also dispute the reporting business directly. A reporting business includes both credit card issuers and also banks. Again once you have reported this they are required by law to respond and investigate further.
If you are correct and they have made a mistake then they will fix the issue and you won’t need to contact the credit agency.
You can also consider a pay-for-delete option. Creditors only really care about the money and how much of it they can get back, so if you offer to pay for them to remove a negative entry they may consider it as an incentive and remove the item for you.
However, this is only a request and the agency has every right to deny it, it also places itself into a gray area as debt collectors are required by law to only report completely accurate credit information to the reporting agencies.
It will also not remove the account completely from the report, it may remove the actual account that is in collection. However, not the item from the actual creditor.
This may seem like a long shot but it is still an option. You need to write to your creditor asking specifically for a “Goodwill Deletion” if you have taken the relative steps to pay down most of your debts and seem to be able to manage your money better you may be able to get your creditor to remove the mistake.
This isn’t guaranteed and you may not even get a response, this is mainly used for problems that are considered a “one off” meaning that you have only missed a single payment. However, if you are someone who has struggled to make payments historically this will not be your best option.
Get A Free Copy Of Your Report
What you can do to manually check that an error has been made is to get a copy of your credit report, this will allow you to be able to read through it and check to see if any errors have been made, once you have found the eros you can contact your creditors to explain the issue and obviously if it is actually an error they can remove the mistake from your report.
You are entitled to your free credit report annually, so you can check for any irregularities regularly to make sure that no serious damage has been done to your credit score.
It is important to check your credit report as it helps you stay on top of your payments to again ensure that you haven’t missed any of them which will result in a negative credit result for you often implying higher interest rates for you the consumer when you try to loan any money from the bank.
This will make managing your finances much easier.
Although unlikely it is possible for your creditors to make a mistake in reporting that you have missed a payment. As mentioned above there are a few things you can do to report them as errors and hopefully get them removed from your credit report.
The routes mentioned above are filing a dispute, pay-for-delete, goodwill deletion or getting a free copy of your report.
Some of these are more successful than others such as, filing a dispute or manually checking through your credit report, both of these will ensure that you stay on top of your finances and that your creditors are aware of any potential mistakes that have been made.
Pay-for-delete and goodwill deletion are not as impactful as the previously mentioned routes you can take but in some cases are still successful, mainly for people who have missed only a single payment, but like mentioned before the incentive alone may be enough to make your creditor accept what you have requested.
If a mistake has been made on your credit report by law it has to be removed so don’t panic if you find one, you simply need to report the error.