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3 Tips to Getting Errors Removed from your Credit Report

  You see lots of ads on TV about the importance of monitoring your credit score. But, sometimes, checking your credit score isn’t enough. According to an FTC study, one in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores. If you’re that “one in four,” you also need to know how to fix those errors on your credit report. Unfortunately, fixing your credit report isn’t always a quick fix. Often, it takes time and patience… and a little bit of know-how… as you contact each of the major credit bureaus. Here are three tips to getting errors removed from your credit report. 1. Check your credit reports regularly. There are three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – that you should check. You can check all three every few months or stagger your checks. Or you can use a free monitoring service. The sooner you know there’s an error on your report, the sooner you can fix it. 2. Big errors may require big fixes. If you find a small $100 debt that’s several years old and you know isn’t yours, you can use each of the credit bureaus’ online dispute forms. But if you see a major error – like a bankruptcy or a $10,000 debt – it’s a good idea to submit your issues in a written letter to each of the agencies that identifies the item that you believe is in error and an explanation of why it doesn’t belong on your report. It’s also a good idea to send those letters certified mail with a return receipt requested. Here’s a sample letter from the FTC that you can use as a guide. You should also include any supporting documentation that you have. Why go through all this trouble? Because you give up your right to arbitration with an online dispute. Bottom Line: if it’s a small error, use the convenience of an online dispute, but if it’s a large mistake, go the “old-fashioned” route and draft up a letter. 3. Keep reminding yourself what’s at stake. Errors stay on your credit report for a long time (bankruptcies are there for ten years), and a bad credit score costs you money on everything from higher mortgage rates to higher insurance premiums. It can even affect your career as more employers are looking at credit scores when evaluating candidates. If it is a legitimate error, the chances are good that the credit bureaus will remove it from your record, but it is your responsibility to monitor your scores and take action when and if it’s needed. To learn more about fixing errors on your credit report, give Mercedes Enterprises a call at (516) 882-5311.

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