Your credit reports contain information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and any public records that you may have. Credit bureaus sell your report to creditors, insurers, employers, landlords and anyone else who will pay for it. They use this information to evaluate what kind of risk you will be for credit, insurance, employment, renting and sometimes utilities.
You probably already knew that…but, did you know a study released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in June 2004 found that 79% of the consumer credit reports surveyed contained some kind of error or mistake. That’s right, that means about 4 out of 5 people have information on their credit reports that is erroneous! Astonishing isn’t it?
Even worse, more than 25% of credit reports have errors serious enough to result in the denial of credit or increase rates. A good score can save you $100,000 over the life of a $250,000 mortgage. So, technically, you could be paying $100,000 more on a 30 year mortgage because of MISTAKES THE CREDIT BUREAUS MADE in reporting your information!
Credit Reporting Laws – Your Rights Under the FCRA
That’s really just the beginning of the awful things that could happen to a consumer because of credit bureau’s erroneous reporting. For this reason and many others, it’s crucial that you review your credit report periodically. However, the law is on your side. By law, credit bureaus have a responsibility to provide accurate information about you. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires them to have a dispute process so that you can get your credit reports fixed.
Under the FCRA, if you dispute an item on your credit report with the creditors, they notify your creditor who must verify the item’s accuracy. If the item is proven to be inaccurate or unverifiable, the item must be removed from your credit report within 30 days after the dispute has been received by the credit bureau.
How Do Errors Appear on Your Credit Report?
There are numerous reasons for credit report errors. Lenders, banks, and collection agencies sometimes report things inaccurately. They are only human. They make errors. Sometimes people similar names or similar social security numbers get mixed up. Many times items of a family member’s account will appear on a credit report because of similarity in name.
Identity theft errors is another possibility. If someone stole your social security number and opened an account in your name, even if you reported it, that account could still show up on your credit report as a mistake.
Re-aging of accounts can also occur when collection agencies pass your accounts around. These are also credit reporting errors and should be disputed.
How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit Report
The dispute process can be done via mail, phone or online. We highly recommend that you do it through the mail. This allows you to keep records of all correspondence with the credit bureaus. It’s also much more effective doing it through the mail. You give up some of your rights when you do it at the credit bureaus website.
Analyze Your Credit Reports
To dispute these errors you must first get your credit reports. You will then want to spend some time analyzing your credit reports. Make sure that all of the information being reported is accurate. Look for any negative accounts that are being reported. Do you notice anything about them that could be questionable? If so, you have the right to dispute that account.
Send a Credit Dispute Letter
When sending your dispute by mail, check out our sample dispute letters and follow the instructions.
After the creditor receives notice of a dispute from the credit bureau, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the consumer reporting company. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide consumer reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file. Sometimes the creditor simply fails to respond to the credit bureau. In that case, the credit bureau simply removes if from your credit report.
You will hear back from the credit bureau about 30 days after they receive the letter. Often times you will receive the results of your dispute sooner than that.
It’s important to follow up with your credit report dispute if you don’t receive the desired results. It’s also possible that your letter gets ignored. If you have not received a response within 30-40 days, you will need to send a follow up letter. You can also file a formal complaint with the FTC. The FTC does not resolve individual consumer disputes, but it’s important that you have the complaint filed for your records in case you decide to hire an attorney as willful failure to comply with the law may subject the credit bureau to civil liability.
Getting Professional Help
If you find that you don’t have time or would rather just have a credit repair service do this for you to make sure it gets done correctly by people who have been doing it for over 25 years, check out Lexington Law Firm. They have removed millions of negative items from their clients credit reports and know how to follow up with creditors and credit bureaus when they are not cooperating. For the best possible results, you may want to give them a try.
I Was Able to Get Help Disputing Bad Credit
After I graduated from college, I got a pretty good job at a mid-sized company that was doing really well at the time. I moved my way up the ranks and was living the dream … before the recession finally hit my industry. All of the sudden, my company wasn’t getting paid by our clients and as a result, we couldn’t pay our bills any more. The owners decided to shut everything down and I lost my job along with about 30 other people.
I got unemployment, but that was barely enough money to buy food for my family. I started going deeper and deeper into my credit cards until I had maxed them out. I also got behind with a lot of other payments.
I finally declared bankruptcy, but by that time my credit was badly damaged. I lived with the bad credit for a couple years and then decided I wanted to buy a house. I quickly discovered that I didn’t qualify because of my bad credit. Not knowing what to do, I listened to the advice of a buddy of mine who told me to dispute my bad credit. I told him I had no idea how to do it and he told me there was a company that could do it for me – all I had to do was pay a small fee and they would take care of everything else. Since I knew how important having a good credit score was, I decided to give Lexington Law a try.
I called Lexington Law and they helped me out. They got a couple of the items from my past credit card debt removed and my credit score was on the road to recovery. It took several months to get my credit score where it needed to be, but I was finally able to qualify for a home loan. I moved into my new place a couple years ago and have loved it ever since! I’m so grateful I was able to fix my credit score with the help of Lexington Law.
I Raised My Credit Score Over 200 Points by Disputing Bad Credit!
Did you know that you have the right to dispute information contained on your credit report? When you dispute bad credit with the credit bureaus, they have 30 days (by law) to verify the information. If the information cannot be verified, it must be deleted.
Note that whether the account is “really” yours or not has no bearing on their responsibility to verify it. If it cannot be verified, it must be deleted … period.
Collections Removed from My Credit Report:
Bankruptcy Removed from Equifax:
Bankruptcy Removed from TransUnion:
Charge-Offs Removed from My Credit Report:
My credit scores have dramatically improved since there are no longer any negative accounts on my credit report. Here’s a snap shot of my credit scores since I signed up with Lexington Law:
“Thanks Lexington Law Firm for all your help. I appreciate all you’ve done to clear my credit. So much progress was made in such a short time! You were very professional and very helpful at all times. And it was so nice to get a real human being on the phone whenever I needed assistance. I’ll keep you in mind if I ever need anything else.”
— D.S., Lexington client
“I’ve been a customer with Lexington Law for some time getting my credit fixed. You’ve helped me clean up the snags in my credit history. It used to be, when I went to get a loan, they’d charge me between 16 to 20% interest! A few months back, due to my credit being clean, I was able to get a used car loan for under 8%. That amounted to over $100 a month in interest savings. I was also able to purchase 5 acres of land and have been approved for a construction loan to start building a house.! Thank you all!”
— C.R., Lexington client
You can read hundreds of client testimonials and even watch some very inspirational client video testimonials here.
Lexington Law has helped thousands of clients by eliminating all kinds of bad credit items, including bankruptcy, judgments, liens, collections, charge offs, foreclosure, and more!
Discount for Family Members, Couples, and Active Military!
Lexington Law is now offering $50 off the initial set-up fee when you and your spouse or family members sign up together. The one-time $50.00 discount will be automatically applied to both you and your spouse’s first payment.
Active military members also qualify for a one-time $50 discount off the initial fee.
Get Started Now!
If you’re sick of having bad credit and ready to get the negative items removed from your credit report, let the professionals at Lexington Law Firm take care of it for you.