If you’ve recently applied for credit or a loan and have been denied, do you know why?
It might be worth taking a look at your credit report to see just what potential lenders are going to find on your report. In fact, you are entitled to a free credit report within 60 days if a lender has denied you credit based on their review of your credit report. But what if you get a copy of your credit report and find that it has errors which are impacting your credit rating?
Then it’s up to you to take charge and start a six step plan to fixing those credit report errors:
Contact the Credit Bureau
Document any and all errors you find and then write a letter to the credit bureau. Be sure to state what you believe is in error and provide documentation. Identify your letter as an attempt to address a disputed claim.
Contact the Credit Issuer
In addition to contacting the credit bureau, you ‘ll need to contact the creditor or the source of the disputed information. Provide the same detail and documentation as you provide to the credit bureau. Be sure to indicate that your correspondence is in regards to disputed billing, payment or information.
Keep all originals of billings, statements and the copy you have of your credit report. Provide only copies of these or you’ll end up paying to get replacements for your own files.
Start a Documentation Log
Keep copies of all correspondence and at minimum make notations of any supporting documentation mailed to the credit bureau or credit issuer. Record the dates and times of phone calls along with the names of representatives involved in handling your files.
Use Certified Mail
Don’t let your mailings get lost in the bureaucracy of the systems. Send all items by certified mail to assure that your mail can be traced in terms of who received it and when.
Don’t Ignore the Problem
If you just hope the problem of errors on your credit history will disappear, then be prepared to wait a long time. Credit information can remain on your report for as long as seven years and up to ten years in cases of bankruptcy.
If after taking these steps you don’t see any progress in resolving the errors, you can turn to Uncle Sam for help by phoning the Federal Trade Commission help line at 1 – 877 – FTC – HELP.
Being approved for loans and credit is not only a matter of keeping up with payments but also requires diligence to make certain that your credit report reflects your good credit history.