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How Often Should You Check Your Credit Report?

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What Can You Do If Your Credit Report Is Wrong?

How You Can Raise Your Credit Score If Itís Low

 

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What Can You Do If Your Credit Report Is Wrong?

According to a recent report issued by the Federal Trade Commission, 26 percent of all Americans have ďpotentially materialĒ errors on their credit reports. The findings are alarming when one considers the fact that nowadays, a credit report affects everything from securing a good job to a low interest rate on a car loan.

Credit reports are compiled by the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The three agencies use financial history on consumers to compile a report. The report contains every account ever held by the consumer, whether they paid on time or defaulted, as well as employment and residential histories.

The agencies then use the report to generate a credit score for each consumer. A credit score is a three-digit number that is generated using a mathematical algorithm which pulls data from a consumerís credit report. Credit scores range from 300 to 850 and are intended to predict the financial risk associated with granting credit to that particular consumer. Credit scores over 700 indicate the consumer is in good financial standing and a low-risk for failure to repay debt.

Consumers who generate scores in the 600-700 range generally have missed a few payments here or there, but are not consummate loan defaulters. While they are seen as a slightly higher risk category, they are not totally excluded by creditors. Individuals who have a score lower than 600 generally are considered high risk and may have difficulty securing loans and utility services.

Because a good credit report affects so many aspects of a personís life, it is best to check it regularly to ensure there are no mistakes which could affect your ability to secure loans and services.

The information revealed by the FTCís report is alarming in that 10 million Americans likely are paying more in interest on credit cards and loans due to faulty reporting. This is why it is vital that all consumers check their credit reports at least once a year.

So what do you do if you review your credit report and discover errors?

The first step to take is to file a formal dispute with the credit reporting agency which included the error on your report. Each agency provides information on how to dispute information at the time it issues a report to the consumer. Reports can be filed via regular U.S. Mail or through an online form on each of the credit reporting agenciesí websites.

Once a dispute is filed, the credit reporting agency investigates by contacting the creditor which provided the information. The creditor then reviews their records to determine if they made a mistake in their original reporting to the credit reporting agency. Once their investigation is complete, they report their findings back to the credit reporting agency. The consumer then is notified if their dispute has been validated and resolved, or if the creditor has determined their original information is correct and refuses to alter it.

In the event a creditor refuses to change information which the consumer believes to be false, re-disputes can be filed; however, unless the consumer provides supporting information to validate their claim and prove the information was incorrect, the same outcome is likely. Truly disgruntled consumers who feel they arenít getting anywhere with a creditor or the credit reporting agencies have the option of filing a complaint under the guidelines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which is administered by the FTC.

If all this sounds like a long and manual process, there are companies who will clear up your credit report for you. TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best credit repair services available today.

I've Been Trying to Get My Free Credit Report Online. It's Basically Hell.

While Kevin's on vacation, we've invited other Mother Jones writers to contribute posts. Some of you probably saw my post about the frustrations I encountered trying to freeze my credit with the Big Three. From the feedback, it sounds like some of you ...

Published:  Sat, 23 Sep 2017 03:00:00 GMT



How Belgium deals with credit without Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion

Credit reporting in the U.S. has been dominated by three companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, yet many people don't even realize that these companies are compiling massive files on them. And now that there's been a breach, they don't like it.

Published:  Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:57:00 GMT



Fed Chair Janet Yellen warns: Monitor your credit report!

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen on Wednesday warned millions of Americans to scrupulously monitor their credit reports following a "very serious data breach" at Equifax. "We would really urge consumers to be very careful in monitoring their credit ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Sep 2017 22:51:00 GMT



Herbert Lin: Credit reporting protections are backward

In the wake of the hack of credit reporting agency Equifax, many people have suggested that affected consumers implement credit freezes to prevent the misuse of their sensitive personal data. Equifax, which originally tried to charge consumers for this ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Sep 2017 23:45:00 GMT



How to Unfreeze Your Credit Report

In the aftermath of the Equifax breach, many experts and pundits are recommending Americans to freeze their credit reports. Freezing your credit report can be a good move to help protect yourself from someone stealing your information, opening accounts and ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:42:00 GMT



Clear collections from your credit report

Your credit score takes a hit if you fall behind on payments to a creditor, and again if an account is sent to the creditor's collection department or sold to a third-party collector. You may be able to repair some damage to your scores by resolving a ...

Published:  Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:46:00 GMT



The Knowledge Group Has Scheduled a Live Webcast on The Fair Credit Reporting Act: 2017 Trends, Developments and What Lies Ahead

New York, NY, September 23, 2017 --(PR.com)-- The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, the leading producer of regulatory focused webcasts, announced today that it has scheduled a live webcast entitled: The Fair Credit Reporting Act ...

Published:  Sat, 23 Sep 2017 00:01:00 GMT



Consumer Reports: When and when not to cancel your credit card

(Consumer Reports)--Cutting up a credit card can feel liberating especially if you've spent years diligently paying off the debt. However, Consumer Reports says there are times when you might not want to cut that card out of your life completely.

Published:  Thu, 21 Sep 2017 01:00:00 GMT



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