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Credit reports ñ correcting errors

You have ordered your credit report to assure yourself that the financial information being reported to lenders, potential employers, insurers and landlords is correct. Errors can significantly impact these and other vital areas of your life. What do you do now if you believe the information being reported is inaccurate?To begin with, contact the credit bureau/s and discuss with their representative the information you believe is incorrect. Also, contact the company that supplied the information to the credit reporting agency. Next, follow up with the credit bureau/s and the reporting company with written correspondence formally disputing the information. In your letter, reference the individuals you spoke with during your initial phone conversations and include any documentation you have that supports that the information is incorrect. Mail your dispute to the agency and company by a mailing method that requires a signature receipt, i.e. certified mail return receipt or overnight signature required. This will provide you with verification that your dispute was received, and it will help to establish a time line for resolving the dispute.Once received, the reporting agency has 30 days to review the dispute and report to you the outcome. It must either remove the information, if it is determined to be incorrect, or report that it was verified as accurate; and, therefore, will remain in your file. If you disagree with the outcome, you can file with the credit reporting agency a 100-word statement regarding the dispute. The credit agency is then required to issue your statement along with any additional reports issued.If you have followed the above steps and still believe that inaccurate information is being reported, there are also additional resources you can consider: 1) You can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that regulates credit reporting agencies. In your complaint, include all your documentation, original dispute information and any responses received, etc. 2) You can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (, if the negative information is not correct, taking action to have the information removed is crucial, as poor credit performance and scores can hinder critical areas in your life. However, if the information is correct, there is no quick fix other than improved financial performance on credit and payment of collections, judgments, etc. Beware of companies that claim they can repair credit that is fairly reported.General negative information such as late payments can be reported on your credit report up to seven years, while bankruptcies can be reported for 10 years and unpaid tax liens for 15 years. Inquiries are reported for two years. Excessive inquiries also affect credit scores.Now, take action and see to it that the credit agencies are reporting correct information on you. Your handling of credit in a favorable manner and ensuring that this is correctly reported by these credit agencies can be vital to good opportunities in important areas of your life.

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