Your credit report is quite an important document. Not only does it contain information on loans and credit card opened, it contains details of how you pay your bills.
But credit reports aren’t always accurate. If yours contains an error, it could prevent you from obtaining a mortgage or a loan, renting a house and, in some cases, finding a job.
These errors are quite common. According to a survey conducted by consumer reports.
If you haven’t checked your credit report recently, now is the time to order a copy and read it carefully. Otherwise, you could be financially penalized through no fault of your own.
How to check your credit report
You have more than one credit score, and likewise, you have more than one credit report. This is because there are three reporting bureaus that collect scores and reports:
- Trans Union
Usually the information on your credit reports is the same, but there may be discrepancies, so it’s important to check all three. You can usually get a free copy of your credit report each year from each bureau, but by April 2022 you can get one free copy per week. You can go to each office’s website to request your free copy or get all three annualcreditreport.com.
What to do if you spot an error
Credit report errors can range from a misspelled name to showing accounts that don’t belong to you. If you notice an error, contact the office that issued the report and explain, in writing, what the error is.
For example, suppose your credit report indicates that you have an outstanding balance on a Personal loan you paid. Sending a copy of your loan repayment documents should prove that the debt is no longer applicable.
When you report an error, the credit bureau must investigate within 30 days. And once this error has been corrected, you have the right to ask the issuing office to send an updated copy of your credit file to all lenders who have accessed it during the previous six months.
Say you applied for a mortgage three months ago and were turned down due to a red flag on your credit report. Once the error has been corrected, the issuing credit bureau should send an updated copy to the lender who declined you, although you may need to request it.
Credit report errors can hurt you in many ways, so it pays to be vigilant and stay on top of them. If you can’t remember the last time you checked your credit report, get a copy as soon as possible.
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