You may be surprised to find out that credit files can often contain incorrect or inaccurate information which could seriously impact on your chances of getting financial services such as credit cards or loans. Sometimes this can put you in extremely difficult positions with financial institutions, especially if you’re looking to apply for one of their products.
A great way to keep on top of your credit file and make sure all the details are correct is to get hold of a copy for your self and take a read through! You’ll find that there are three main companies that keep credit files on consumers. These are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. All three of these will be happy to provide you with a paper copy of your credit file for a small admin charge. Alternatively you can visit their websites and get your credit file online.
So now you have a copy of your credit report but have found errors or inaccurate details that you don’t recognise? Don’t panic. It’s in the interests of the credit bureaus to help correct any errors that may appear on your record. However you must be able to substantiate the reasons as to why you believe the information to be correct. The first thing to do would be to call the company who has added the problematic details and explain the situation, they will more than likely ask you to put your problem in a letter with details as to why you believe this incorrect, along with any supporting evidence such as documents or statements. This will allow them to look further into the issue.
You should also ask them to notify the credit bureaus that you are disputing an entry on your file. A notation will be added to your file, which will show any future searchers (these are the companies that search your file to check your eligibility for things like credit cards and loans) that you are disputing any negative entries. Of course, you don’t have to rely on the companies to notify the bureaus, it’s a good idea to contact them yourself also.
Normally, after investigating your claim, the company will contact the credit bureaus asking them to remove the data that has been mis-reported. You need to remember that you cannot have the entry removed yourself, as only the company who added the entry can have it removed. By keeping a close eye on your credit file you can not only avoid being turned down for financial services, but you can also help protect yourself from identity fraud by looking for accounts, credit cards or loans that you do not recognise!