What is a credit bureau report?
A credit bureau report, or personal credit history, chronicles your borrowing and payment record, both positive and negative. It is usually reported monthly to the three main credit bureaus by your lenders. Your history can also include information about personal bankruptcies, any liens and judgments filed against you and unpaid debts referred to collection agencies. All this information is used to build and calculate credit scores, which are used to assess the likelihood you won’t repay your loans. Your annual percentage rate, term, collateral requirements and more are based upon your personal credit history and your credit score(s).
What kind of information is on a credit report?
Credit reports maintained by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion all contain similar information, including:
- your name and any previous names you have been known by
- your current and previous addresses
- your current and previous employers
- your social security number
- a record of inquiries on your credit file due to credit or other applications initiated by you
- the payment, balance history and current status of any loans, credit cards and other credit accounts that have been reported, including late payment history and charge-offs
- judgements, liens, foreclosures, repossessions and bankruptcies filed in the past seven years
- names and addresses of any creditors or collectors associated with each loan, judgment, lien, foreclosure and repossession
My Credit Report is Inaccurate. Now what?
Credit errors can happen to anyone — over 40 million Americans have errors on their credit reports, and many of them are unaware of them. So every year, it’s important to check all three credit reports from the major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If you do find out that you have an error on one or all three of your reports, it’s crucial that you take steps to have them corrected since errors can affect your credit score and your ability to get loans or other credit in the future.
The good news is that you have options when you need to correct errors on your credit report. The most common methods include:
- Disputing the errors yourself
- Hiring a credit repair agency to manage the process
If you decide to dispute the errors yourself, you’ll need to start by contacting the credit reporting agencies as well as the company that provided the erroneous information. You’ll need to explain why you think the information is incorrect and provide supporting documentation. If you’re disputing by mail, you can go to the Equifax, Experian and TransUnion websites to download dispute forms and determine all of the requirements for filing your dispute. Each agency has different guidelines, and it’s very important to follow them to the letter to avoid having to start the process over again. This process can be tedious and time-consuming if you’re not familiar with the dispute process, which brings us to the second option.
To save time and improve the chances of credit errors being corrected in a timely manner, many people will hire a credit repair agency to assist with correcting credit report errors. These agencies will review your credit reports, help identify potential errors and begin the dispute process to correct those errors. Part of the service usually involves keeping you updated on the progress of the disputes. The cost and timeframe of the dispute process varies from agency to agency, so it’s important to shop around for the best deal possible. It’s also important to note that not all credit repair companies are completely straightforward about their services — some claim they can “fix” bad credit, which is not true. A trustworthy credit repair company, like 20/20 Credit, will only assist in correcting true errors on a credit report. Any bad marks on your credit report that have been earned, like a late payment or an account that went to collections, cannot be corrected ethically by a credit repair company.
Whichever option you choose, know that credit errors are an issue that can be fixed, and they don’t have to have a permanent adverse effect on your credit.
THE REAL VALUE OF CORRECTING CREDIT ERRORS CAN'T BE MEASURED IN DOLLARS ALONE
Our pricing model is simple, straightforward and affordable. It starts with a FREE credit analysis and after an $89 initial fee, you'll only be charged $89 per month.
- $89 monthly payment
- Personalized credit repair plan
- Weekly updates via email
- FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) Certified data accuracy specialists
- Unlimited error correction