Items found in your credit report play a key role in determining your credit score, the three-digit number that gives finance companies and lenders a snapshot of your credit activity and history. Mistakes in your credit report can impact your credit score and hurt your ability to get approved for financing or qualify for the best rates.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests checking your credit report at least once a year to keep track of your credit history. Errors you should look for in your credit report include:
Mistakes in your name, phone number or address.
Loans, credit cards, or other accounts that are not yours.
Reports saying you paid late when you paid on time.
And accounts you closed that are listed as open.
So once you’ve found an error in your credit report, how do you go about fixing it?
First, contact the credit reporting agency and the creditor that provided the information. Explain what you think is wrong and why, and include copies of documents that support your dispute. Your credit reports will come with instructions on how to dispute mistakes and/or request a fraud alert.
You can get one free credit report from each of the big three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — every 12 months. To obtain a copy, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228. If you are looking to get approved for financing, Credit Acceptance can help you get started.