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How to Build a Credit Rating, Part 2 |
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How to Build a Credit Rating, Part 2
Put it in writing. Your next step is to write directly to the three credit reporting bureaus and let them know about the mistakes. The errors or omitted information I just described often tend to be things that can be easily remedied.

Typically, they will take about 30 days to get this kind of information fixed or updated. Some people, however, fail to write to Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax, and let them know about things they perceive as minor—such as a name that was spelled wrong, or information that is omitted from their file. Whether you realize it or not, that kind of thing could actually cost you money.

When you go to get a loan, lenders like to see stability. So if your most recent place of employment is omitted, or if your current address is not listed properly on your credit report, your credit file may show old, outdated information. Gaps in your listed employment or pertaining to your place of residence may make you appear unstable, or as if you've been hopping around a lot—either from place to place or job to job. That's not a good image to project for someone who's trying to show that he or she is a creditworthy consumer. So, you certainly want to make sure that all relevant, up-to-date information is adequately reflected in your credit file.

Go to the source. If, however, you find that you have a dispute over something that is related to one of the credit card accounts or any other account that is profiled in your credit report, the first step is always to go directly to the source of information. Assume you saw a listing for one of your credit cards and the bank that issued the card has indicated that you had a 30-day late payment. If you are absolutely certain that you were not late on your payment, you should contact that bank right away.

It's always better to resolve issues like these with the entity that supplied the credit bureau with the information. If you can address a problem with the source of information, that erroneous information will be more quickly taken off your credit report—and will likely remain off. Should you go directly to the credit reporting bureau to try to get erroneous information like that removed, they may take it off because they have 30 days, by law, to investigate your claims. So they usually go to your creditor, in this case the bank, and inquire about the alleged late payment. If the bank does not respond in a timely manner, or if the information in question is not able to be verified, then by law that has to be taken off of your credit report. Unfortunately, what also happens is that sometimes when information has been taken off a credit report by the credit bureau, it will reappear later. It might be 60 days, six months, or three years later. But that negative, erroneous information has a way of popping up again unless you get the problem fixed with the bank that is the original supplier of that information to the credit bureaus.

There are other cases in which you want to write to the creditors, not the credit bureaus. These include situations where your credit report notes that you have a balance, but you paid that balance. Some accounts maybe duplicated or listed in different ways. You don't want the same account listed multiple times (unless it's showing a consolidated balance or a loan payoff); those multiple accounts can make it look as if you are overextended from a credit standpoint.


Article Title : How to Build a Credit Rating, Part 2
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