November 2020

Credit exchange

Velo Protocol powering the world’s first federated credit exchange network

Imagine a network where partners – from traditional finance, CeFi and DeFi sectors – are all created equal. This network has no central nodes and all data is sent from node to node via the shortest and most efficient route available. In this network, all participants agree on a set of fundamental ideas – be it policies, algorithms, a hierarchy of governance or otherwise – for the benefit of the network as a whole. Beyond these fundamental concepts, network participants retain their autonomy.

This is the vision that Velo Labs pursues with its Federated Credit Exchange network. This network, powered by the Velo protocol, allows network participants to freely issue digital credits indexed to any stable currency by staking VELO tokens. Network participants can then use these digital credits in their day-to-day business operations.

To participate in the Velo Labs federated credit trading network, there are several conditions that all network participants must comply with. These include:

  • VELO tokens serve as a universal network guarantee;
  • VELO token transactions are confirmed using a federated Byzantine agreement – the Stellar Consensus Protocol;
  • The main function of the network is based on the Velo protocol.

Behaviors outside these stipulations are left to the network participants.

The Velo protocol

The Velo protocol is a financial protocol that issues digital credits attached to any fiat currency. It ensures that these digital credits are always properly secured to maintain a 1: 1 digital credit to fiat value ratio. The Velo protocol has two main components. A digital credit issuance mechanism and a digital reserve system.

The digital credit issuance mechanism is the part of the Velo protocol that issues digital credits pegged to any fiat currency. The digital reserve system automatically rebalances these collateral pools to maintain a 1: 1 value ratio between digital credits and their associated fiat currency. In other words, as the price of guaranteed tokens increases in the open market, the digital reserve system automatically removes said tokens from individual collateral pools and adds them to the system reserve pool. Likewise, when the price of guaranteed tokens drops in the open market, said tokens will automatically be removed from the reserve pool of the system and added to each individual guarantee pool.

Issuing digital credits and balancing collateral pools in this way requires full Turing smart contracts, which the Stellar network does not support. As VELO is based on Stellar, a bit of cross-chain magic is needed. Enter the Hermes Warp protocol.

The Hermes Warp protocol

The Hermes Warp Protocol is an inter-chain protocol that links Stellar and other chains such as Evrynet.

When smart contract functions are required, the relevant Stellar-based tokens are locked into a multi-signature custodian address and the Evrynet-based tokens – corresponding to each individual Stellar-based token – are released. When a network participant needs to convert their digital credits back to Stellar-based tokens, the Evrynet-based tokens are withdrawn from circulation. The original Stellar-based tokens are then unlocked from their custody accounts. On a related note, Velo Labs recently announced a partnership with Matrixport Cactus to provide cutting edge childcare services.

The Hermes Warp protocol also allows converting Ethereum based tokens to and from Evrynet and Stellar based tokens. This paves the way for all Ethereum-based projects to connect to the Velo Labs federated credit trading network.

Velo Labs Federated Credit Exchange Network

Supported by the Stellar network and the CP Group – one of the largest conglomerates in the world – Velo Labs currently serves business partners in South East Asia. By connecting the legacy financial sectors, CeFi and DeFi, Velo Labs’ federated credit trading network positions Velo Labs as one of the few blockchain projects with a clear path to mass adoption.

Learn more about Vélo.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

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Credit report

How to get your REAL credit score

A reader recently wrote asking about credit scores. She wanted to understand why the credit rating she received from the credit bureaus was different from the rating used by her bank. Here is his question:

Question: I like to read your blog. I have a question about credit scores. I checked my credit scores with all three credit bureaus, and was happy to see that my scores were all well above 600 for each of the bureaus.

Then I went to my credit union. To my surprise, the manager, after checking my scores against their system, [said my credit] was way below what I saw with the desks.

She told me that the credit score that we as consumers see with bureaus is always higher than what lenders such as credit unions and banks see. My question to you is: is this really true? If so, how can we as consumers get our true credit score before going to the lender?

A: So what is going on here? Several things. First, let’s think about credit scores in general. How are they calculated? You need two things to calculate a credit score: data and a credit score formula.

The data comes from the credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Each bureau compiles data on your bill payment habits, late payments, credit limits, credit usage, inquiries, and more. To calculate a credit score, this data must be associated with a formula.

The most widely recognized formula comes from FICO. (There are a few competing formulas on the market, but FICO is still the most widely used by the majority of lenders.) We need both of these to generate a credit score.

There are, however, a few issues that we might run into that can lead to different credit scores. The first is that the information on your credit report can vary from one credit bureau to another. For the most part, the data will be similar, but there will likely be some differences.

Why? Well, you may have a car loan or a bank loan that is not reported to all three credit bureaus. The creditor can only report one or two of them. So one will have the information, but not the others. There may be errors in one of your credit reports, which is actually quite common. It is not uncommon to check your credit report and find differences between each of the three major bureaus. So that’s part of what’s going to lead to different credit scores.

Advice: Use Experian Boost ™ to track your actual FICO® score.

The second reason, which is actually even more problematic, is that there are several credit scoring formulas. Even FICO, which you’ve probably come across, has several different scoring formulas.

There are several reasons for this. FICO is constantly changing its credit scoring formula to get the most predictive tool possible. The goal is to get a formula that accurately predicts credit risk, and they are constantly adjusting the formula to achieve that goal. Some lenders may choose to use the newer version of the formula, but others may continue to use older versions. (Keep in mind that updating their systems to the latest FICO formula usually costs lenders money.)

The second problem is that some lenders and industries have customized versions of the FICO formula. For example, the FICO formula used on your credit report when you apply for a home loan may be different from the formula used when you apply for a credit card.

And there is yet another problem. Lenders can further customize their processes on their own. Some lenders take other information into account outside of your FICO score or even your credit report. Some develop their own formulas – or use a formula that was not developed by FICO. And some take into account other information they may have about you.

So, even though we are looking at the exact same data from the credit bureaus, there are still many formulas for generating a credit score. And this leads each individual to have a variety of possible credit scores. As a result, your lender can see and in most cases likely sees a different credit score than you may have obtained from one of the credit bureaus or even directly from FICO.

This is the bad news.

The good news is, if you check your credit score through FICO, it will likely be reasonably close to what most lenders will see. I know “reasonably” and “most” are caveats here. You could end up with a lender who either does not use the FICO score or uses an older version of the formula.

As for the reader’s question, is it still the case that the score you get from a FICO, Experiential Credit Karma or other providers score higher than the score a lender sees? Absolutely not. In fact, I know from personal experience when applying for mortgages that sometimes the score a lender gets is higher than what you get on your own. So your score could be higher or lower for a lender than for you. You do not know.

There are a few other things to consider. If you check your score in January and then apply for a loan in March, your scores might be different just because there is more information on your credit report. When your score is pulled in March, the lender uses the most recent data from the credit bureaus.

In addition, whatever formulas you use, you will follow the same steps to improve your score. Paying your bills on time, keeping credit card balances low, and leaving old accounts open will help boost your score.

Ready to increase your score now? Experian Boost ™ can help boost your FICO® score with every utility and mobile bill you pay on time. Until now, these payments have not had a positive impact on your score. Start now for free.

Experian Boost Disclaimer – Results may vary. Some may not see improvement in scores or chances of approval. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use Experian Boost impacted scores.

Read more:

If you are looking for a loan, the best place to find the score most likely to be used by lenders is directly with FICO. You can click here to be taken to the FICO website, where you can view your FICO score.

Another option is to check out Credit Karma and / or Credit Sesame. I did a study based on my own credit scores to see how surprisingly close their (free!) Scores were. Additionally, these services can show you what is helping your scores and what is hurting your scores. Even if the number isn’t perfect, you can get a feel for what you’re doing well and what you could do better if you need to improve your credit score.

And if you’re looking for a big purchase, like a home or mortgage refinance, this information can be invaluable.

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Credit report

How do I check my child’s credit report? (And why you need it)

In all the little details of parenting, one thing you might not have had to ask is how do i check my child’s credit report? After all, why would you do it? They’ve never used a credit card before, have they?

It may be true. But that doesn’t mean someone other did not use your child’s credit.

You may think that your child’s personal information, such as their social security number, is completely safe. But that may not be the case in fact. Think about all the schools, doctors, and other organizations that ask for this information. Usually these places protect your child’s information, but the worst can happen to even the most secure organization.

And then there are potential issues for family members and close friends to use your child’s identity to open credit accounts. It is becoming more and more common. In fact, in 2012, one in 40 families surveyed with children under the age of 18 had at least one child with compromised personal information!

I’m not writing this all to scare you off, but to help you spot the warning signs of identity theft and how to deal with them.

The problem of identity theft of children

We don’t often connect our children and their credit in our heads. But the point is, fraudulent activity can happen to anyone with a Social Security number. Thieves often create identities using a child’s genuine social security number associated with a different date of birth. This means that they can often get away with their crimes.

Identity theft may not have an immediate impact on your child. After all, your five-year-old won’t be applying for a mortgage or even a student loan anytime soon.

The problem is, because we don’t think much about our children’s credit records, this type of activity can go unnoticed for years. You may not be aware that your child’s ID card has been compromised until they apply for their first mortgage or car loan, which they will be denied due to bad credit. .

This is the bad news. The good news is that you can look for warning signs and prevent this type of fraudulent activity. Here’s how:

Related: LifeLock Review – Protecting Your Identity

Warning signs to look for

As I mentioned before, this type of crime often goes unnoticed for a year or more because parents do not have the opportunity to check their children’s credit reports. But here are some warning signs the FTC recommends looking for:

  • Your child is denied government benefits because their social security number is already receiving these benefits.
  • You receive a notice from the IRS that your child did not pay income tax or that your child’s Social Security number was used in another return.
  • You receive collection calls or invoices for a product or service that you have never used.

These are the reasons the FTC lists, but if you have another reason to believe that your child’s identity has been compromised, you can also take the following steps. This can include a family member explicitly asking for your child’s identity information in a way that makes you suspicious. Or it may include receiving a notice from your insurance company, doctor’s office, or other entity that the identity they have on their records may have been compromised.

What to do first

Check to see if your child has a credit report. If your child’s ID was used to fraudulently open accounts, they will have a credit report. If they don’t have a credit report, then you’re probably in the clear.

Unfortunately, most online credit report options require a driver’s license or some sort of state ID number to access your information. Since your child is not likely to have one, you will not be able to access their information online.

Instead, you’ll need to manually contact each of the three credit bureaus with your child’s Social Security card and birth certificate, along with your government-issued ID and proof of address. You will need to submit the forms so that the credit bureau can manually extract your child’s credit report – if it exists – manually.

(Click on the links to find the form to check your child’s credit report with TransUnion and Experian. Equifax does not appear to offer this form online, but does offer information about the process here.)

If your child doesn’t have a credit report with one of the three reporting bureaus, that’s a good thing! This means that your child has probably not been the victim of identity theft.

There are some accounts that people could fraudulently open in your child’s name that would not be credited to them, such as cell phone or cable services, but these are less likely. Keep an eye out for the aforementioned invoices and collection calls, just in case.

So what if your child Is have a credit report open showing fraudulent activity? Contact your local police department to file a report. Then contact the credit bureau indicating this activity. They can flag your child’s credit report so that additional accounts cannot be opened.

Related: Can Checking Your Credit More Frequently Get You A Better Score?

How to freeze your child’s credit

Freezing a credit report simply makes it harder to get credit on that report. That doesn’t make it impossible, but it blocks potential thieves.

Opinions differ as to whether or not you should freeze your child’s credit report. This Experian article suggests avoiding that, if possible. If your child has been the victim of identity theft before, you can protect your child’s identity without actually placing a freeze, which often costs money and is not allowed in all states.

Due to the complications, this article suggests freezing only if your very young child is already a victim of identity theft.

Equifax, on the other hand, suggests freezing if your child already has an open credit report. The article rightly points out that a freeze is unlikely to affect anyone bUtah a potential thief, since your child will not need credit for a period of time.

This decision is really up to you. If you find that your young child has an open credit report, you may decide to freeze the report. Consider the laws in your state and the associated costs when making your decision.

Learn more: Which is more effective: a credit freeze or a credit watch?

What about credit repair?

If your child’s credit has already been abused, you may need to spend time fixing the issues. First, you will need to place a fraud alert on your child’s credit report. Next, you will need to file a report with the FTC and your local police department.

Next, you will need to contact the companies where accounts have been opened in your child’s name. These companies should work with you to correct the accounts and remove them from your child’s credit report.

It is important to make sure you follow these steps as soon as possible. While you’re at it, be sure to record any phone calls you have and send some information in writing as well. Keep copies of letters and dates you made calls or sent letters. That way, you can reference what you’ve done so far if you’re having trouble getting businesses to close those accounts.

Resource: How to correct an error on your credit report

Should You Pay For Credit Monitoring?

Most credit monitoring services focus on tracking adult credit. However, some services offer protection to all household members. If you are truly concerned about persistent identity theft issues, these services may be of interest to you.

Just make sure you double check these services before spending any money on them. Examine what level of monitoring the services offer and what services they offer to customers who have been victims of identity theft.

Prevent identity theft in the first place

Ideally, you never have to go through all of these steps to protect and clean up your child’s credit report. Because ideally, no one will misuse your child’s identity. But here’s how you can avoid these issues in the first place:

  • Know who holds your child’s identity information. Whenever you write down your child’s social security number for a form, keep track of who has that form. Make sure the form is secure. Note who has this information so that you can be notified if that entity has a violation.
  • Be careful before giving this information. Sometimes school forms or other entities will ask for this type of information. But the information may not be strictly necessary. Try to avoid writing this information down whenever possible.
  • Open a 529 account. Sometimes family members will ask you for your child’s social security number to open a savings account in your child’s name on behalf of your child. Avoid this problem by opening a 529 account. Most online account management options allow you to submit a link so that others can contribute to the account without using your child’s personal information.
  • Consider adding your child as an authorized user. Adding your child as an authorized user to your credit card account seems like an easy way to give them access to funds in an emergency. But this action will open a credit report for your child, exposing them to identity theft. Consider using a prepaid debit card as another option.
  • Teach your children about these issues. Finally, as your kids get older, talk to them about the importance of keeping their private information private. Remember to keep your child’s social security card where even they can’t access it, so they can’t accidentally slip this information out. And teach them the importance of protecting things like their online account passwords from the start.

Related: 5 ways to improve your credit without getting into debt

Make sure you combine these steps with a basic understanding of the warning signs of child impersonation. By doing this, you can avoid – or remedy quickly, if necessary – this growing problem.

Have you (when you were younger) or your child been the victim of identity theft? How did this affect you and how difficult was it to correct?

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Credit report

Remove inquiries from credit report?

We recently talked in this column about removing negative items from your credit report. I told you then that it is generally not possible to remove accurate and timely negative information from your report.

But does that include difficult investigations? While not technically a negative (you haven’t done anything wrong), they indicate potential increased risk and may count against you. Let’s take a closer look at the requests and see how they affect both your credit reports and your credit score.

What is a hard investigation?

First, let’s define “investigation” and how it is used in credit reports. There are two types of queries, sometimes called “pulls”: soft and hard.

A soft demand or pull occurs when you check your credit on your own. Pre-approved credit offers are also light draws because you are only pre-approved for the offer, not for the credit. A soft pull will appear on your credit report, but will only be visible to you. Most importantly, an indirect request has no effect on your credit score because no additional credit has been requested or offered.

However, a hard inquiry or pull is a whole different animal. The difference between the two is the intent of the survey. Kind of like kissing your sister or kissing your sweetheart! Both are kisses, but the intention is different.

Large drawdowns happen every time you apply for credit and they will affect your credit whether or not you are approved. Plus, inquiries will show up on your credit report and be visible to anyone who checks your credit. They will have a negative impact on your score, but the impact is relatively minor (around five points for a survey, according to FICO).

How long is left on your credit report?

The inquiries stay on your credit reports for two years. However, the effect of the survey is only felt for a maximum of one year. And usually the impact wore off after a few months. The impact is usually greater for someone with little data on their credit report than for someone with an average or extensive history of credit use.

How does a thorough investigation affect your credit score?

Credit scoring is about your risk of default on a loan and the calculation of the risk taken by a lender to grant you credit. Serious inquiries send a signal that you are looking to take on new credit obligations.

A survey, as stated above, will only increase your score by about five points. However, if you do something like apply for each credit card, you will find that your score will be more significantly affected. This is because when you apply for new credit, you are changing the status quo.

Questions like why do you want or need more credit, can you handle additional debt, or what has changed in your life that you need new credit for all create uncertainty. Adding new accounts changes the overall picture and your score will reflect new uncertainty until you’ve had the accounts long enough to show you can handle them. Your credit report is the indicator of how well you are handling the new credit that has been granted to you. If you manage it well, your report will reflect it and your score will reflect the reduced risk.

Is it possible to delete a hard request?

I started this column by saying that it is usually not possible to remove accurate and timely information from your report. This is also true for difficult surveys. If you have applied for credit, again, whether or not you have been approved, these requests will show up on your credit report and affect your credit score.

However, there is one big exception to this: identity theft. In the event of identity theft, where someone else has requested credit on your behalf without your knowledge or approval, those requests can and should be removed.

This can be a detailed process, but the Federal Trade Commission has listed the necessary steps here. As with all disputes, keep good records and in the event of identity theft, be sure to get a police report documenting the theft.

How To Minimize The Damage To Your Credit Score Through Serious Investigations

As I mentioned earlier, you should avoid making multiple inquiries in a short period of time unless you are shopping for a student loan, mortgage, or car loan. Credit scoring algorithms take into account that people tend to rate purchases for those purchases. In these cases, as long as you keep the requests within a certain amount of time, they will only count as one when calculating your score.

The FICO elves examine your credit report for rate requests. If they find any, they’ll treat requests that fall into a typical buying window as one request. Older versions of the FICO score use a 14-day purchase period. Newer versions use a 45-day purchase period.

Each lender can use a different version of the FICO scoring formula to calculate your FICO scores. VantageScore 3.0 counts all auto or mortgage loan requests made within 14 days as one request on your credit report. They will all appear on your credit report, but they will be grouped together for the purpose of calculating your score.

As with anything related to credit score, there are proven methods to minimize damage when your score has been affected in any way:

  • First and foremost, pay your bills, all your bills, on time, every time.
  • Keep an eye on your credit card usage and try to keep your balances below 25% of your total credit limit (s). Only apply for credit when you need it, and only when you are fairly certain you will be accepted.
  • Monitor your credit reports and report anything that is suspicious or that you don’t recognize.
  • Do not close accounts for no good reason; Even if a credit card is paid off, keeping it open can help by increasing your available credit (and thereby lowering your credit utilization rate) and lengthening your credit history.

At the end of the line

Finally, don’t let the hard knocks overwhelm you too much. Keep in mind that these inquiries are part of normal credit use and will naturally disappear from your credit report after two years with no action required on your part.

Have a question about Steve’s credit rating? Drop him a line on the Ask Bankrate Experts page!

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Accessible credit report for faster loan processing and assessment – Manila Bulletin

Accessible credit report for faster loan processing and assessment

Securing loan applications – whether for a personal, emergency or even a motorcycle loan can be a problem for most borrowers as the pandemic is permanently affecting business operations and workforce , including those in the financial sector. As businesses resort to a skeletal workforce and shortened working hours, Foodpanda, one of the leading mobile food delivery apps, worked with CIBI, the first and only local credit bureau. in the Philippines, to connect their passengers to financial institutions by providing a personalized credit report that presents the borrowers’ risk rating as well as other factors such as employment and residence that can aid in the speedy delivery of approval of the loan.

LR Marlo Cruz (President and CEO of CIBI), Jao Manahan (Operations Manager for Community and Communications)

The partnership allows Foodpanda riders to obtain their own credit report which they can submit to partner banks and financial institutions in exchange for a motorcycle loan. CIBI has customized a report that can determine and allow financial institutions to understand and assess a borrower’s profile for faster decision making when granting a loan. This will not only benefit the rider, but also provide valuable information to financial institutions, especially creditors who are implementing a skeletal workforce that is having trouble processing claims due to labor issues. work, as reports that typically fall under their underwriting process can be resolved through CIBI’s credit report. The submitted report also allows the credit department of banks and financial institutions to easily screen out applicants and decide whether or not the granting of loans is possible for the applicant.

“At Foodpanda, we wanted to give our runners the privilege and support in every aspect possible. As a community runner leader, we want to make sure that the runner’s experience is up to par. One of them offers them exclusive offers from our fleet partnership. It is high time for them to get their motorcycle upgrade and this partnership will help them get the best loan option on the market as we bring in level loan partners to serve our hard working riders. . We are happy to find CIBI as a partner for the project because they know exactly what our cyclists need, ”says Jao Manahan, director of community operations and communications.

CIBI will engage in more exciting partnerships as it expands its list of brands and product portfolio.

“This opportunity is one of the many partnerships that CIBI is exploring as we continuously innovate and evolve. We saw an opportunity to help and support banks and financial institutions by providing third party reports to borrowers which they can then submit to creditors for faster loan processing and assessment. This is an important milestone for us and we are excited to serve Foodpanda runners in the future, ”concluded Marlo Cruz, President and CEO of CIBI Information Inc.



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How to remove negative credit report items

If your credit score isn’t where you want it to be, you probably already know that it’s the negative things on your credit report that are causing your score to drop the most.

These items will eventually fall off, but what’s the best way to do it and is there a way to speed up the process? Let’s dive in and see.

How long do negative items stay on your credit report?

It depends on the object, but most will fall off after seven years. Yes, I said seven years. I know it’s long. This is even longer for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which takes 10 years to fall.

But before you bow your head in desperation, you should know that the impact of negative elements on your score will diminish before those seven (or even 10) years are over as long as you don’t get it wrong again. This decrease can start in a few months for a minor incident such as a 30 day delay to over a year for a very serious problem such as a write-off or bankruptcy.

Is it possible to remove them before they fall?

No matter what you’ve heard or heard to the contrary, it’s usually not possible to remove accurate and timely data from your credit report. If you’ve truly defaulted on a loan or a credit card and it’s not been seven years, that element is going to stick.

This includes items that may exceed the statute of limitations (SOL) for your state. Items that are too old to recover in court under the SOL and that are less than seven years old will still appear on your credit report. It’s also important to understand that until a legitimate debt is paid off, you still owe it even if you can’t be sued or it fell off your credit report.

However, inaccuracies and outdated items from your credit report can be removed. We will discuss this a little further.

How much will your score improve if you remove the negative items?

It depends on two main factors: the length of your experience using credit and the severity of the negative element.

A long credit history will have less of an impact if only one negative item is reported. But a serious negative event like a write-off will indicate that you are now a high risk borrower and cause you to lose more points despite a long credit history. For those with a short credit history, also known as a “light file,” almost anything negative will cause the score to drop significantly. The higher the “thin” score at the start, the greater the drop.

But in credit scoring, sometimes it only takes a few points to take it to the next level. These points could make a huge difference in real dollars on your next loan or whether or not you are approved for your next credit card. So how can you remove items that shouldn’t be there?

How to remove credit report errors

Your first step will be to get copies of your credit reports from all three bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – and review them carefully.

You can get your reports for free at Look for accounts you don’t recognize. As you check your credit reports, you might be surprised at the number of accounts. Since your report lists negative information for seven years and positive information for much longer, you will likely see accounts, called trade lines, that you forgot, and maybe even some that you didn’t know you had yet.

Check account numbers, balances, and open and close dates. If you find any errors, you should carefully document them and communicate them in writing to the offices. Since credit bureaus don’t always have the exact same information about you on their credit reports, if you see an inaccuracy on a credit report, go through the dispute process and have it corrected.

But you might not be out of the woods. Other offices may have different inaccurate information. That’s why you need to get all three reports to make sure all of your information is correct.

If the same error appears on two or all three reports, you should only dispute it once. If the source of the information makes a change as a result of your dispute, that source should also notify the other offices of the change. But I recommend checking it out anyway.

Correcting all three reports is important because some lenders and businesses purchase a “three in one” report that includes a credit score and credit history information from each of the three bureaus. Each office has slightly different procedures for filing disputes, but all three allow you to dispute inaccurate or outdated information by phone, mail, or online:

  • Equifax: Call the phone number provided for disputes on your credit report and make sure you have the 10-digit credit report confirmation number (on your report) available. You may also dispute by mail to Equifax Information Services LLC, PO Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374 (no confirmation number is required on written correspondence); or online.
  • Experience : You can dispute over the phone using the toll-free number on your credit report; by mail to Experian, PO Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013; or online.
  • TransUnion: You can dispute the information by telephone at (800) 916-8800; by mail to TransUnion Consumer Solutions, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022-2000 (be sure to include the completed survey request form found on the website); or online.

File a dispute online

I used to recommend that you write (on paper) to initiate a dispute so that you can keep a paper trail. Today, when you dispute online, the bureaus provide confirmation throughout the process. Simply save or print documents along the way to establish a paper trail for future reference. Either way, be sure to document your interactions.

Disputing online is faster, easier, and more secure than doing so by mail, but you may need to be able to upload documents to support your dispute. Consider sending a letter with all of your ID, credit information, and other documents. How many people handle this letter and can be tempted to open it?

When you dispute online at Experian, for example, you choose which items you want to dispute with one click. You go through the process one step at a time. When you’re done, you submit the disputes and any documents you upload to support them. You can create a paper trail by printing the report, the “shopping cart” of the dispute, your documents and the confirmation free of charge.

Filing a dispute by mail

If you choose to dispute items on your credit report by mail, write a letter stating the item (s) you are disputing. Include all the facts that explain your case and include copies (not originals) of documents. Attach a copy of your credit report with the items in question circled or highlighted.

Make sure you provide your full name and address and tell the company what action you want (correction or deletion). Send your protest letter by registered mail, with acknowledgment of receipt, so that you can document that the letter was mailed and received. Keep copies of your dispute letter and attachments.

If there are changes as a result of your dispute, you can request that the office send correction notices to anyone who received your report in the past six months. If you have applied for a job, you can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who has received a copy in the past two years for employment purposes.

At the end of the line

While working on the negative things that may be on your credit report, keep in mind the positive things you can do right now that will earn you a higher score over time. If you pay your bills on time, keep your credit usage low, and apply for new credit only when you need it, you’ll see your score increase over time.

Remember that the negatives fall off after seven years, but the positive information will stick around much longer. The more positive actions you can take, the better your score will be. Good luck!

Have a question about Steve’s credit rating? Drop him a line on the Ask Bankrate Experts page!

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