Your credit report is one of the most important reports of your entire life. It contains all of your previous credit transactions, including your household bills. If you’re applying for a loan, a mortgage, a credit card, almost any type of credit, then the lender will base their decision on your credit report.
What Is A Credit Report?
Your credit report is an account of your financial history. It includes your credit score, your previous credit such as any credit cards, loans, mortgages, and your household bills. It also includes how reliably you made your payments, and any missed or late payments.
When you apply for a loan, or make any kind of application for credit, then the lender will look at your credit report and decide if they want to offer you finance. It will also help them decide how much credit they want to lend you, and the terms of the credit such as the interest rate and time period.
All kinds of lender will look at your credit report before making a decision on your application, such as:
- payday loans,
- online loans,
- direct lenders,
- credit card companies and more.
Therefore it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your credit report every year, as you may need to get a loan in the future.
How To Find Your Credit Report?
Financial experts believe that many people simply don’t how to get a copy of their credit report, or how to dispute any errors in it.
The three credit reporting companies – Experian, Equifax, and Transunion – provide you with one free report per year. However, they will only do this on request. You can request a report from each of them at the same time, or you could space it out through the year. You can also buy further reports from them, beyond your yearly free one, if you wish. Once you’ve received the report, make sure that you read through it carefully.
How To Dispute Errors In Your Credit Report
If your credit report does contain errors, then you need to be prepared to dispute them. Harry McQueen, a loan manager from creditcube.com, an online direct lender, said that most people don’t know how to dispute the errors, although it can have a much greater impact on their credit than they realize. He put together a list of steps for people to take when disputing a mistake on their credit report.
The first thing you should do is write to the credit reporting company. Your letter should include your full name, address, a copy of the credit report with the mistakes highlighted, and an explanation of why there’s an error. You should also include copies, but not originals, of any documentary evidence you have that backs up your claim. You should mail it to the company by certified mail so you know when it has been received.
The credit reporting company then must investigate within a reasonable time period. This is usually 30 days. They will notify the original creditor – the company who provided them with the information, such as your credit card company, loan lender, or energy provider. The creditor must then investigate, and report the results back to the credit reporter.
After the investigation, the credit reporter will notify you of the results in writing. If the transaction was found to be in error, then you will also receive an amended copy of your credit report. This doesn’t count towards your yearly free report. You can also ask them to provide an amended copy to any company, credit card provider or direct lender who requested a copy of your report within the last six months. You can ask for anyone who received a copy within the last two years for employment purposes to receive an amended copy.
Even though the credit report will contact the original creditors about your investigation, you should also send them a letter. This needs to include your full name address, and copies of documentary evidence that supports your position. You should mail it to the address they provided on the credit report, or if there is no address, you contact them and ask for an address to send your letter. If they don’t provide an address, then you can send it to any business address listed for the company. The email must be certified too.
If the investigation concludes that the transaction was not a mistake, you can ask for the credit report to include a statement of dispute. You can request that a copy of the statement of dispute is sent to any companies or organizations who recently requested a copy of your report. You will probably have to pay a fee for this service.
In summary, it’s extremely important to carefully read over your credit report, and you do need to dispute any mistakes. These mistakes could mean the difference in being accepted or being rejected by potential loan lenders.