Fixing Credit Report Errors

After taking the first step of obtaining a free credit score report, the next most common step to improving your credit score is to correct any errors that might be present. Strangely enough, errors do occur, and it is well worth taking the time to dispel such inconsistencies. You must carefully scrutinize the report in order to correct things like account numbers, names, wrong information, as well as items that are out of date. The last error type is the most common mistake and when corrected can have an important impact on your score.

There are guidelines that regulate how long certain kind of information can be recorded in your credit score. For example, most undesirable information that is over seven years old may be removed. This includes lawsuits, judgments, paid tax liens, accounts dispatched for collection, records of criminal activity (other than convictions), late payments, and even child support and many other pieces of possibly adverse information. This is great news for those that have blemishes on their credit report from years ago. These things will not show up forever. Even insolvencies that are older than ten years can be dismissed from your score. Getting rid of this outdated undesirable information can have an immediate impact on your score, especially depending on the severity of the problem.

It may seem silly, but it is just as important to check things like your Social Security number, name, address, phone number, and information concerning your occupation. These mistakes might be outdated or simply entered incorrectly. These errors actually do occur. In the same way, errors also occur concerning your involvement with certain accounts. It is possible that suits or credit accounts that do not belong to you show up on your credit report. This is also true of accounts that have been paid in full. Sometimes these accounts may not have been updated and still show an outstanding balance.

By filling out a request for reinvestigation form or writing a letter, you can correct these errors that are detrimental to your overall credit score. You should, as carefully as possible, reference every inaccurate or outdated piece of data that appears on your report as well as describe why that information is incorrect. The reporting agency will then investigate those items and contact you within 30 days to notify you of any changes. This process may also be expedited if you are trying to qualify for a mortgage or car loan. This is known as a rapid rescore.

Once you have rid your free credit score report of any incorrect information, you can then begin to add positive information. This might be through a new loan, a secured credit card or simply making responsible payments on the accounts you already have. By double-checking your credit report for errors you might save yourself a great deal of time in the task of recreating your credit merit.

Author: Mike Clover

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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.