Image by Bart Claeys via Flickr
While credit report errors are relatively rare, for the Peerform borrower trying to improve or repair their credit score, the first thing to do is make sure there’s no serious errors in the report, and you have a legal right to dispute & correct errors. The federal “Fair Credit Reporting Act” stipulates that:
- You have the right to ask for a credit score. However, you’ll probably need to pay for it unless you use one of the credit reporting agencies that offer one free report per year (e.g., AnnualCreditReport.com).
- You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. The FTC has published a “credit repair” set of guidelines that outline the steps you need to take to effectively dispute any errors in your credit report. To start the credit repair process, you’ll need to put in writing those parts of the credit report that are in error and include copies (NOT originals) of any supporting documents. Consumer reporting companies must by law investigate your complaint within 30 days
If the consumer reporting company verifies the error, the next step is to request that they send notices of a correction to any employers, companies, or banks who have requested your credit report in the past two years.
If it turns out that the negative information in your report is not in error, never fear. Negative credit report information is not permanent. By law, consumer reporting agencies can only report negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years. In the case of negative but accurate information, the very best thing to do is sit tight and make sure no new negative information gets on your record by paying all your bills on time. Like wounds, time, if given a chance, will heal all negative credit information.