Inaccurate credit reports can affect your ability to borrow money and establish or maintain a good credit score. If you find yourself in the situation where an inaccurate report has caused problems for you, here are some steps that might help:
The “how to remove negative items from credit report yourself” is a guide on how to remove negative items from your own credit report. This guide will help you understand what can be done and the steps that need to be taken in order to do it.
You’re not alone if you’ve ever discovered a mistake on your credit report. About 20% of the 250 million Americans who have credit reports have mistakes on them. This equates to around 50 million individuals.
Tav Gomez, a consumer protection attorney, thinks that roughly 11 million of these 50 million contain major errors that might lead to legal action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
“Consumers have rights under the FCRA to verify that the information in their reports is true and full,” Mr. Gomez explains. When reporting agencies fail to rectify erroneous information, they must be held responsible.”
There are around 50 million individuals who have errors on their credit reports.
A false credit report might result in the loss of a job, a loan, housing, or credit. Although individuals have the right to dispute their credit reports, as well as fraudulent credit card applications and charges, credit bureaus have little motivation to do so. Mr. Gomez claims that a bureau takes just three minutes on average reviewing—and typically rejecting—each objection and confirming the data.
When a consumer repeatedly requests that credit bureaus repair a serious error and the bureaus refuse, the customer may choose to pursue an FCRA lawsuit. The bureaus may be forced to amend the story if a lawsuit is filed. In addition, the plaintiff may be compensated for lost earnings, loan rejections, and other tangible losses.
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was created by the United States Congress in 1970 to “improve the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in consumer reporting agency files.” The legislation is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (CFPB). The following rights are guaranteed under the FCRA:
- If information from your file has been used against you, you must be informed.
- You have a right to know what information is stored in your file.
- You have the legal right to get a credit report.
- You have the right to challenge information that is missing or erroneous.
- Consumer reporting organizations are required to amend or remove information that is erroneous, incomplete, or unverifiable.
- It is possible that consumer reporting agencies may not disclose unfavorable material that is no longer current.
- Access to your information is restricted to those who have a legitimate need for it.
- You must offer your permission for employers to get reports.
- You may restrict the number of “prescreened” credit and insurance offers you get based on information in your credit report.
- You have the right to sue offenders for damages.
- Active duty military members and victims of identity theft have special privileges.
The rights listed above make the customer seem to be highly strong, but the reality is quite different. Most of the cards are still held by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three main credit agencies.
Because of something they didn’t do, a person might be refused a job or a house.
Employers, for example, often neglect to inform potential workers when they perform a credit or background check and find anything they don’t like, resulting in the candidate being denied a job. These failed background checks are often the result of an alleged or erased crime—something that should not be on someone’s record.
In other words, Because of something they didn’t do, a person might be refused a job or a house. And if the company fails to tell them that the information in their file was used against them prior to the employer taking an adverse action, that itself is a violation of the FCRA.
Identity theft cases may be just as aggravating.
A shattered system with little hope of repair
When someone disputes their credit report, the bureau is supposed to conduct a reasonable investigation—even in real situations of identity theft, which may swiftly lower a person’s score—but they merely call the creditor or debt collector to verify the stated information.
Let’s imagine your information was compromised as a result of the Yahoo data breach, and someone exploited it to create several credit cards in your name and rack up a slew of charges. Your credit score dropped, and you filed a dispute with the credit bureau, claiming that your identity had been stolen and that you weren’t responsible for all the new cards and payments.
“Did you truly establish these accounts and make these charges?” the credit bureaus should check with the credit card providers. If the credit card companies say yes (which they very certainly will), that’s the end of it, and you’re out of luck. The credit bureaus would send you a notification confirming the debt with minimal effort.
“There is little financial motivation for credit bureaus to conduct legitimate disputes or enhance their investigations.”
It’s a broken system that has inspired one memorable ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>“Last Week Tonight” segment and drawn criticism from the bipartisan Senate Banking Committee.
“The bureaus have no duty or motivation right now to collaborate with me to try to get the credit score straight,” Sen. John Kennedy (R – LA) remarked during a meeting last November.
“We know the credit bureaus have a lengthy history of consumer complaints and erroneous reporting that has long-term repercussions on people’s ability to acquire a job or a home,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The National Consumer Law Center states, “There is little financial motivation for credit bureaus to conduct legitimate disputes or enhance their investigations.”
This is a massive issue affecting tens of millions of people. In light of the remarks above, Congress should work to enhance the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is responsible for regulating and combating precisely these kind of abuses.
However, the CFPB’s new director, Mick Mulvaney, has trimmed the agency’s budget and promised to reign down what he sees as overzealous enforcement by the agency. Consumers seem to be on their own for the time being.
What Can I Do If My Credit Report Is Inaccurate?
Do the following to ensure that your credit report is accurate and fair:
- AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to get free yearly credit reports from each of the three main credit agencies.
- Inconsistencies, discrepancies, duplicate reporting, and mistakes should all be looked for. For example, one bureau’s report may be drastically different from the other two. This indicates that the agency made a mistake.
- Contact the credit bureau(s) to contest any inaccuracies you identify, as well as any credit strikes resulting from identity theft or fraud. Keep copies of all conversations about the disagreement as well as the agency’s findings.
- Contact an attorney to learn about your rights under the FCRA if the agency fails to amend the report.
“A solid credit history is a significant benefit for customers,” Mr. Gomez explains. Mortgages, vehicle loans, credit cards, utility services, residential leases, employment, and insurance are all affected by information included in a consumer’s reporting file.”
You may be awarded money for damages if you were refused housing, employment, or credit because of a mistake on your credit or consumer report—or if you were the victim of identity theft that negatively affected your credit score. For a free legal consultation, please contact us.
The “how to dispute credit report and win” is a guide that will help you get your inaccurate credit report corrected. This guide will also teach you how to go about disputing your account with the credit reporting agency.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do if something is inaccurate on my credit report?
A: If you find that an entry on your credit report is inaccurate, such as incorrect location or information about a negative account, the best thing to do would be to contact the company whose record it is and ask them for more accurate information.
Can you remove accurate information on credit report?
A: It is possible to remove inaccurate information from your credit report, but it would be difficult and time-consuming.
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