So maybe creditors mysteriously start treating you like you’re toxic. You wonder what’s up so you check your credit report and it shows you racked up some bill you really didn’t.
You’re not alone. The Federal Trade Commission estimate 1 out of 20 of consumers have negative errors on their credit reports.
If you’re one of them… and you want to set the record straight, well, this isn’t going to be fun. But you can do it.
First, get your credit report from all three credit bureaus and look for any errors—large or small. You’re entitled to a free one once a year… by going to annualcreditreport.com. Don’t be fooled by sound-alikes that actually charge you for it.
When you find a mistake, type up a letter to the credit bureau that’s reporting the error.
Experts say, don’t file the dispute online, and here’s why. When you file the dispute online, you have to accept their terms and conditions, which may include a clause that says you won’t sue them if they do something wrong. That’s a threat you may not want to give up. It gets their attention is all I’m saying.
If you have multiple disputes, send a separate certified letter for each one. Don’t bundle them.
If you have evidence that you’re right and they’re wrong, make a copy and include it.
Next, time to send a message to the company that reported the bad information in the first place. Maybe it’s a hospital or insurance company. Send a similar certified letter to them. They’re required by law to investigate disputes.
By this time, you’ve used a lot of paper, and let’s say you’ve gotten nowhere. Go to consumerfinance.gov and submit a complaint there.
Be patient, it can take time, but follow these steps and you should get your financial reputation back.
Do us a favor. Tell your friends about us so they can be smarter about their money too.