Your credit score is one of the more important aspects of your financial identity. Every so often, we have to make a big purchase or resolve an expensive and unexpected crisis. When this sort of thing happens, it really helps to have good credit, and many of us have been working on building this for our entire adult lives.
As such, when there’s a mistake on your credit report that’s erroneously lowering your score, you’re going to want to correct that situation as soon as possible.
Thankfully, there’s something called the Free Credit Reporting Act (also known as the FCRA) that makes it possible for you to get information about your credit score, and take action to correct anything that you find to have been recorded in error. We’ll talk about five of the best tips to help you check and correct your credit report when you need to.
Check your Credit Score regularly
The best way to avoid having to correct your credit report is to check it on a very regular basis. Set an alert or mark a date on your calendar to remind you that you need to be checking on your credit report regularly every single year. The more often you do this, the quicker you’ll notice anything that goes on it in error, and will, therefore, have a much easier time correcting these mistakes.
Follow the FCRA’s Guidelines.
The Free Credit Reporting Act has a set of guidelines that are in place to help you make sure your credit report only has the correct information on it, so you should make sure you’re very familiar with the procedure and steps that apply to your specific situation. Their website will give you everything you need in the way of specifics; we’ll talk about some of the most important steps below.
Keep Thorough Documentation.
You should always make sure that your documents are kept thoroughly and are very well-organized. If this isn’t the case, you’re going to have a tough time arguing your case when it comes to your credit report. If you have plenty of documentation to back up your claim that there’s an error on your credit report, however, you’ll have a much easier time arguing this with your creditor and the credit reporting agency.
Use Certified Mail.
Send all the documentation of the error, along with your request that your credit report be changed to both the creditor involved in the mistake and the credit reporting agency. Do this using certified mail. When you’re doing something like correcting your credit report, everything has to be extremely official and documented in one way or another.
Invoke the FCRA
Demand a 30-Day Turnaround Time. The FCRA was designed to protect people like you from bad credit loans, false entries on your credit report, and other financial nightmares that can sometimes come up.
If you make sure you invoke the FCRA in your request and demand that a change be made to your credit report be made within 30 days, you’ll likely get the attention of your credit reporting agency and will have an easier time getting your request processed quickly.