Trim Your Money Waste Line With An Annual Credit Check Up
There’s no better time than now to start your journey toward financial health. The Partnership FCU is here to help. Over the next few weeks we’ll be providing helpful tips and information on how you can get on track and meet your financial goals. The first tip is below.
Tip #1: Financial Health Starts with Your Credit Report
An annual credit report review goes a long way in ensuring your financial health. The sheer volume of information provided on credit reports can oftentimes feel overwhelming. It doesn’t have to. You just need to take a look at the four sections: Identifying Information, Credit History, Public Records and Inquiries.
Verifying the information on credit reports from all three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion is your first step to ensuring an accurate credit score. Do a review for these common reporting mistakes:
- Identity errors: Is there a phone number, address or name you don’t recognize? Does the information belong to someone who may have a similar name? Keep an eye on accounts that could have been opened as a result of identity theft.
- Incorrect account status: This includes closed accounts reported as open, you being listed as an account owner rather than authorized user, duplication of debt, and/or wrong opening, payment or delinquency date. Pay attention to balances and credit limits listed as well as this can also negatively affect your credit score.
How to Fix Errors
If there is an error on your report, contact the credit bureau that has the error online or by phone. Explain in detail why the information is wrong and include copies of any supporting documentation. Once it is received, in general, the bureaus will investigate and respond within 30 to 45 days. The only way an investigation won’t happen is if your dispute is ruled “frivolous,” and you’ll know if that is the case within five days. You’ll also want to file a dispute with the company that made the mistake so they can provide updated information to the credit bureaus. If they made the error, it is their responsibility to contact the credit bureaus and provide the corrected information.
If the investigation is not in your favor, you have two choices:
- Ask that your disputed claim summary be included in your credit report
- File a complaint with the CFPB at www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint
The Partnership FCU is ready to help with your financial fitness journey.