The Major Questions
While working at Credit Law Center and speaking with many of you over social media, I have been asked many questions over the credit repair process. Below I have posted the top questions and my answers to help get you started on the road to better credit!
Question #1: “Why should I care about my credit reports accuracy? Are Credit Reports Accurate?”
Answer: Your credit report defines if you can acquire a home loan, vehicle financing, credit card rates and even affordable car insurance! The misconception among most Americans is that we have just the one credit report. Each of the three main credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) has their own credit report to show. Over 75 percent of credit reports contain errors and it is extremely important that you review all three credit reports to make sure the information is up to date and accurate! A lender may pull just one of your reports or all three when considering a loan, so it is paramount that you keep a close eye on ALL 3 reports.
Question #2: What affects my credit score and why isn’t it rising?”
Answer: There are many things that can affect your credit score, but for now let’s go over the main negative and positive factors.
-Negative- Collections, Charge- offs, Repos, Loans, Delinquent accounts, closed account, Medical Bills and Late Payments.
-Positive- Long and Positive Credit History, Low Credit Utilization, Positive Trade Lines, On-Time Payments and Paying More Than the Monthly Minimum On Payments.
Each person’s credit report is different and each item on the report holds a different weight. If your score isn’t rising or is declining slowly; the main issue causing this is simply that the weight of the negatives is outweighing the positives. If you have been making your payments on time, but your credit utilization rate is above 30% then you may see a slow increase. If you are to remove any negative items but don’t have much positive credit recorded underneath, then you may experience a small decline in your score or a very small increase. On the other hand, if you remove many negative items and underneath you DO have positive credit, your score will rise 90% of the time! If you would like to dive deeper into what affects your credit and how click HERE.
Question #3: “What are some common errors on credit reports?”
Answer: Let’s Make A List!
- Names- Is your name listed correctly or are multiple names present?
- Is your address accurate and up to date?
- Are items listed properly or missing?
- Manner of Payment- This one is a little difficult to start looking for at first, but we have a handy dandy video to show how to find these discrepancies! – MOP Mistakes
- Do you not recognize an account/ is the account even yours?
Question #4: How can I dispute an error on my own?
Answer-If you find information that you believe is inaccurate, you should dispute the item with the credit bureau. If said error appears on more than one report, you need to file a dispute with each on separately.
Even though you can always file your dispute online, it is highly recommended to dispute errors via mail!
Using certified mail to send a dispute gives you access to a paper trail that shows that your dispute was received. According to the FCRA, credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and update you with their findings and result. Some people don’t always have the time to sit down and type up multiple disputes to multiple bureaus and balance the responses and logging with their work and home schedule. No worries, we are here to help!
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Author- Joe Peters