Gamers love to purchase games using credit cards as several game-distributing platforms support CC as a payment method. Perhaps because you’ve been making timely payments – or not — on your accounts, you haven’t looked at your credit reports lately. You certainly should, though, since identity thefts are rampant and there may also be inaccuracies. But would you know what to do if you did find mistakes? Keep reading for how to dispute errors on your credit reports.
Because your ability to borrow money or garner any kind of credit largely depends on your credit history, it’s crucial that your credit reports are accurate. If they aren’t, that could bring your scoring down, which could also affect your ability to get a job or even rent housing. So, you should regularly check your reports.
Removing Negative Information
Now, if information on your reports is accurate but just unfavorable, the only thing that can help you is time. Negative data will automatically drop off in seven years. Bankruptcy filings can live on your reports for up to 10 years.
If you’re worried because you have been missing payments on credit cards or other unsecured debts, there are debt relief programs that can help you.
If there are errors, the credit bureau in question as well as the company that supplied the info must fix whatever is wrong or incomplete – for free. You can alert the entities by filing a dispute.
Be it Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax, you should dispute the inaccuracies with each credit bureau that has the mistake(s). Explain what you believe is inaccurate, and supply copies of documents that back your dispute.
You may be able to do all this online through the bureaus’ dispute forms. You can also send disputes by certified mail to the address on your credit reports. Do spend the extra money required for “return receipt,” so that you have proof the bureaus received your dispute. Retain copies of everything sent.
Also contact the business that reported the wrong or incomplete information. Their address may be on your credit report. If it isn’t, contact the business and request the appropriate address.
If you suspect a scam or fraud, report it to the Federal Trade Commission by sending an email to ReportFraud.ftc.gov, or to IdentityTheft.gov.
What Happens Next?
Each credit bureau has 30 days to investigate your dispute. You may be asked to provide additional information.
The bureaus are also required to forward your submissions to the reporting company or business, which must look into the situation and report results. If the business discovers that the info it reported is in error, it must notify the other two credit bureaus.
The bureau is required to provide you with results n writing. If there’s a change, the bureau must also give you a free copy of your credit report. Further, the bureau must notify anyone who received your report within the previous six months of the correction(s) – if you ask it to do so.
Meanwhile, if the business finds your dispute to be valid, it must direct the credit bureau(s) to update or delete the disputed information.
Staying Atop Your Credit Reports
Monitor your credit reports to be certain the inaccurate information was, indeed, taken off your report. If you find that the business continues to report disputed info, make sure the credit bureaus added a note that the information is under dispute.
Make it a habit to check your credit reports monthly, at least. You should be able to sign up with companies such as Credit Karma or NerdWallet and check your reports online. Also, make sure to check the spending report made by certain game-distributing platforms.
Ultimately, disputing errors on your credit reports is not only your responsibility, but it can mean the difference between your getting a loan, a credit card, and even housing and employment – or not. Now you know how to do so.