Credit reports contain your personal financial information. Incorrect information can affect your ability to get a loan, rent housing, or get a job because businesses often make their decisions based on that data.
Keep your reports accurate:
- Obtain your free credit reports. You are allowed one free report every 12 months from each credit bureau: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Visit annualcreditreport.com to order yours.
- Check the basics first. Check variations in name, Social Security number, and address. Experian lists all variations reported to it to ensure the consumer has a full account of the identifying information reported and can act on it. Often, variations are simply the use of a nickname or a transposed address digit.
- Verify data. Some can get complicated. If a loan is sold, the lender listed may not be the original.
- Look for errors. A study by the Federal Trade Commission and another by Policy and Economic Research Council (PERC) revealed similar results: one of five consumers reportedly found errors on their credit reports which could negatively impact their credit score. When counselors at credit counseling agencies review reports with clients, they often find that the unfavorable information is valid. But when it is in error, it's important to start the correction process right away.
- Dispute errors. Contact the company that has provided the incorrect information and the credit reporting agency in writing and keep copies. Work with both the source of the information and the credit reporting company to resolve the issue quickly.
For help understanding your credit score, talk to the professionals at Coosa Valley Credit Union. They will be happy to explain the details.