Many consumers know first hand that credit report errors are common and can be harmful to your credit and daily life. According to a study released in 2013 by the FTC, 5% of consumers have credit report errors. Mistakes on your credit report can prevent you from getting a loan or credit, can prevent you from getting housing, and even prevent you from getting a job.
As a consumer you should check your credit report annually to ensure all information being reported is correct. Yearly credit report monitoring also helps you catch signs of identity theft.
Ordering your credit report annually is easy and Free at AnnualCreditReport.com Here you can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from the three national credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Most Common Credit Report Errors
- Outdated Information – credit reporting agencies all use their own databases and are updated at different times. If they have not updated their databases, they may be reporting old information that is no longer relevant, and no longer legally allowed to be reported.
- Clerical Errors – these types of errors are very common and can impact your credit score. Make sure all of your loan and credit types are listed and labeled correctly.
- Mistaken or Merged Accounts – account information is often mixed up with another person, generally because of similar names and addresses.
- Identity Theft – victims of identity theft will find accounts opened in their name that they have never heard of or have seen before. It’s important to check your credit report annually to ensure that all accounts being reported are yours.
- Incorrect Criminal Background Checks – these can be the most damaging type of mistakes. Criminal background check mistakes are generally due to merged or mixed up information due to similar names and addresses. Outdated information is also very common on background checks.
- Credit Report Says You Are Deceased – this type of credit report error happens most often when a creditor reports an account as associated with a deceased individual or if your Social Security Number was reported as deceased. When this type of mistake happens on your credit report you won’t be able to get a bank account, renew your driver’s license, get health insurance, find an apartment, or participate in many aspects of daily life.
- OFAC Alert – this alert on a credit report tells a lender or potential employer that the name matches a name on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. That is the list of suspected terrorists, drug traffickers, money launderers etc. who are prohibited from doing business in the U.S. If your name is mistakenly added to this list, which unfortunately happens, call us right now for help 1-877-735-8600. We have helped others who have incorrectly had this error on their credit report.
Dispute Credit Report Errors
If you find any incorrect information on your credit report, under the FCRA, you have the right to dispute it. The first step in disputing credit report errors is to contact the company that issued the credit report. They may offer an online dispute form. If not or if you want to write a credit report dispute letter.
Tips for Mailing a Credit Report Dispute
Make sure to include COPIES (do not send originals) of any documents that you may have to prove that what they have reported is an error.
Make a copy of the letter for your records.
Send the letter certified mail so that someone has to sign for your letter and you will have record of when it was received.
Keep records of all contact with the credit reporting agency.
The credit reporting agency will have 30 days to respond to your dispute and correct any errors.
It is important that you develop the habit of being aware of the relevance of your credit report and also develop a habit of regularly checking the same. 'Credit report' in short, can determine your buying power and can influence the decisions for obtaining a loan from a bank, renting or purchasing any real estate. It is even said to be relied on my prospective employers to validate your reliability towards financial obligations. A financial institution can often rely on your credit report to determine whether you qualify for the issuance of the loan and also to determine the deposit amount that you need to pay in order to obtain a loan. For these various requirements, you must regularly check your credit report and credit score and aim to create a strong credit history.
In the UAE, the federal organization of 'Al Etihad Credit Bureau' (AECB) is responsible for collecting all credit data and information and is tasked with the responsibility to provide accurate credit reports to individuals, financial institutions and also companies in the UAE. The AECB was established in 2014 as a PJSC entity wholly owned by the UAE federal government, with its offices in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
A 'credit card report' can be requested from AECB by any individual, company or financial institution in the UAE. Such credit reports could include the following details such the entire credit history, payment history for the last twenty-four months, overdue payment amounts, records of defaulted payments, a record of bounced cheques.
A credit report obtained from AECB will include in it the following details
- Record of your current and previous credit facilities
- Your payment overdue, if any
- Your entire payment history for the last twenty -four months
- Records of your defaults including bounced cheques, if any
How to dispute Credit report:
Consumers are allowed to dispute any data that is presented in the 'Credit Report' issued by AECB and are also allowed the opportunity to prove any given data to be incorrect by submitting supporting documents. For raising a dispute, a person has to submit their original valid emirates id at the time of raising the dispute for verification and proceed to fill a 'dispute form'. The customer is also required to submit with the application a copy of the latest credit report.
This essentially means that you can raise a dispute only concerning your latest reports. The turnaround time for a dispute to be addressed is usually twenty working days. In resolving disputes, AECB works in tandem with the lending institution itself that has provided the necessary data to ensure its validity. Further, AECB takes into account the supporting documents provided by the customer to prove their claim. Once the dispute is resolved, AECB representatives proceed to contact the customer and provide their feedback concerning the dispute.
In essence, review your credit reports on a periodic basis to check for any inaccurate or incomplete information and, in such instance, proceed to raise a 'dispute form' with AECB. It should be well understood that your credit report affects your overall credit score, which constitutes a parameter to determine your likeability to miss a payment in the future. Hence it constitutes a very critical analysis report for your overall payment behavior.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
This article provides a brief overview of how to request your credit report and take steps to correct errors in it. It was written by the St. Mary’s University School of Law Center for Legal and Social Justice, and contains references to other useful resources as well.
How do you check your credit report?
Three companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) gather and sell credit information to other companies. The credit report and your credit score determine what terms you may qualify for on a mortgage, credit card, auto loans, private student loans, and insurance. Employers can even use your credit report to decide whether to hire you.
Credit reporting companies must give you a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, when you ask. Order at AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228. Check your reports at least once a year for accuracy.
What do you do if you find an error in your credit report?
Errors in credit reports are common. They can make a big difference in your credit score and credit history. You have the right to submit a dispute and ask for an investigation when you find an error.
Send a dispute letter by certified mail.
Tell the credit reporting company—in writing—which information is wrong. Sample dispute letters can be found at these websites.
Identify each item that you dispute; explain why you dispute it; and ask that it be removed or corrected. Enclose a copy of the report with the disputed item circled so that it is clear what item you are disputing.
All the credit reporting companies let you submit disputes online. Online submissions are helpful for small-dollar disputes, but don’t always get the same attention as a letter sent by certified mail. A larger dispute (for example, the report wrongly says you filed for bankruptcy) should be submitted in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, to emphasize the importance of the dispute.
Include supporting documentation with your dispute.
You can upload, mail, or fax any supporting documents that explain the errors in your credit report. Some examples include a paid bill, a letter from the organization acknowledging you paid a charge, a police report, examples of your signature (if forgery is an issue), or other documents showing the report is wrong.
Keep a copy of everything, whether you submit your dispute online or by mail.
Credit reporting companies receive thousands of disputes per month, and you don’t want your dispute slipping through the cracks. Keep a copy of everything you send. Check with the credit reporting company if you don’t hear from them within 30 days.