Inaccurate Credit Reports Can Be Corrected
http://www.consumerlitigators.com/2542/fair-credit/removing-inaccurate-information-from-your-credit-reports/May 3, 2012
Removing Inaccurate Information from Your Credit Reports
. If you are struggling with afinancial crisis, you may be overwhelmed with asense of helplessness. Poor credit reports canbe a continuous drain on your financialopportunities, and employers are increasinglyresorting to credit reports to make hiringdecisions. The Fair Credit Reporting Act(“FCRA”) grants you the right to challenge false,inaccurate, or misleading information listed inyour credit reports. The FCRA requires creditreporting agencies to verify challengedinformation and delete data that cannot beverified. Follow these three simple steps toremove false, inaccurate, or even misleadinginformation from your credit reports.
Step One: Obtain a Recent Copy of Your Credit Reports
Www.AnnualCreditReport.comis the onlyaggregated resource currently authorized by the Federal Trade Commission to provide your
-free credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You are entitled to free credit reportsper year from each of the cr edit reporting agencies, and you may request additional free creditreports if you are dealing with identity theft issues, recent unemployment, and for other reasons. Although you do not have to request all three credit reports at once (
., you can stagger your requests over a year), it is best to start off with all three to determine a baseline. After determiningany inaccuracies, you can then stagger future requests over a year. One strategy is to request oneof your credit reports every 4 months from one of the 3 credit reporting agencies for an extendedpicture of what is being reported about you.
Step Two: Determine Which Items are Inaccurate
Bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for 7 – 10 years, but other negative items should onlyremain for up to approximately 7 years. Some credit data, such as unpaid federal tax liens, canremain on your credit reports forever.Credit card defaults, unpaid personal loans, defaulted store credit cards, medical debts, and autoloan deficiencies should generally appear on your credit reports no more than about 7 years and180days from the date of default. It’s a complicated analysis, but waiting at least 7 ½ years is agood rule of thumb before challenging these items on the basis of age. The date of default, though,is very important because it determines the count down of this 7 ½ reporting period. If the date of default is inaccurate, derogatory information can stay on your credit reports longer than they have to.Of course, if your credit reports are wrong for other reasons, e.g., identity theft, mismerged files (twopeople with similar identifying information), generational mistakes (father’s information appearingon his same-named son’s credit reports), or just plain errors, the FCRA dispute process providesthe same rights to remove inaccurate information from your credit reports. In fact, it does not matter
your credit reports are inaccurate, it only matters
you can establish the inaccuracy.
Step Three: File Disputes with the Credit Reporting Agencies IN WRITING
The FCRA empowers you to dispute errors in your credit reports online, through the mail, or by