Errors could be killing your credit!

Do you know how easy it is to type a wrong letter or number? Do you know that people doing data entry at huge corporations aren’t as interested in working error-free as you might wish they were? The combination can be deadly to your credit.

That’s why, when you get your credit report, you must take the time to read and understand each entry. Your report could include accounts you’ve never had, accounts you’ve paid in full, and old information that should have been removed. All of these errors can and will affect your credit score.

Certain kinds of information should be removed after 7 years – this includes lawsuits, judgments, paid tax liens, accounts dispatched for collection, late payments, and even child support. And yet, even though this information should have automatically fallen from your record, it doesn’t always happen. You need to take responsibility for knowing what’s on your report, and getting it changed if it’s wrong.

Be sure to check your Social Security number, your name, address, phone number, and information concerning your occupation. Errors here could signal identity theft, or could just be errors. But the last thing you want on your credit report is someone else’s debt, just because their Social Security number is one digit different from your own (and incorrectly entered as yours) or because they share your name.

Correcting errors and removing outdated information can have an immediate and positive impact on your credit score. And since that can have a huge impact on the interest rates you pay, it’s well worth your time to get it corrected.

You simply fill out a request for reinvestigation, or write a letter to the credit reporting agency that listed the incorrect information. As carefully and accurately as possible, list every inaccurate piece of data and describe why it is incorrect. Do the same with each outdated item.

Don’t be rude or blame the credit reporting agency – they only report on information given to them by your creditors. So even while a data entry error may be theirs, you’ll gain faster, more cheerful cooperation when you’re simply factual. Once they receive your request, they’ll investigate the items you listed and contact you within 30 days to notify you of changes. If you’re in a hurry to qualify for a loan, the process can be expedited through a “Rapid Rescore.”

Credit scores are re-figured every 30 days, so be sure to check your reports each time they come in. Catching an error immediately could save you weeks of hassle and untold dollars if that error signals a case of identity theft!

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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.