There are countless stories of people whose lives have been ruined by a single credit report error. Whether it’s a debt you’ve already paid off, been discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or even if it’s not your debt at all, mistakes on your credit report can make life extremely difficult. Here’s how to remedy those errors so they can’t hurt you anymore.
How Can Credit Report Errors Hurt Me?
Mistakes on your credit report can damage you in a number of ways. A negative mark on your report can continually drain your score, lowering it little by little the longer it goes unfixed. It becomes even worse when you don’t know about it.
A poor credit score may be enough to dissuade landlords from offering you residence on their property. In some cases, a bad credit score can also lead an employer away from offering you a job. Bad credit can also prevent you from getting home and auto loans. Good insurance for your home or car could also be harder to find. The point is, bad credit can make life very difficult.
How Can I Fix Mistakes on My Credit Report?
First, you should contact the credit bureau, and tell them that you have found mistakes. Unless the bureau feels that you are wasting time with a frivolous dispute, they will investigate your claims. Typically, they should do so within 30 days.
When you tell them about the error, you should include a copy of your credit report. Do not send originals. Make sure you detail exactly which items you want to dispute. It may be helpful to send a copy of your credit report with the errors highlighted or circled.
Next, you’ll have to explain why you feel the item was made in error. Have you already paid the debt off? Was the debt supposed to have been discharged in bankruptcy? Is the debt even yours, or was it mistakenly attached to your credit report when it belongs to someone else?
After that, you can request that they error be erased from your report or corrected.
When you send you claim, send it via certified mail with a return receipt requested so that you can be sure that the credit agency has received your dispute. Make sure to keep all documentation throughout the process, including that receipt.
After you’ve sent your request to the credit bureaus, contact the creditor who owns the debt. Let them know that you are disputing the debt. Same as before, when you send the information detailing the items you are disputing, send them via certified mail.
Can Bankruptcy Fix Bad Credit?
If you are struggling to make ends meet because of overwhelming debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be your best option. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows people to start fresh, free from most of their debts. After a short process, you could see most or all of your debts discharged.
The initial impact on your credit score will be negative. However, after filing bankruptcy, you will find that it is much easier to rebuild the score back up. Without your debts there to continually drag you down, you can start getting your credit back to where it should be.
Washington DC bankruptcy attorney Kevin D. Judd has made it his mission to help you find the best solutions available in your unique situation and to lead you to financial freedom.