by Charlotte Wood
(last updated April 27, 2012)
Your credit report is one of those documents that has a significant influence on what you can and cannot do with your money or with what you pay regarding loans and mortgages. Because of the importance of your credit report you need to make sure your credit report is accurate and you want to be able to correct any information that is not truthful. Fortunately there are ways to make changes to your credit report so you can guarantee yourself the best chances at qualifying for those loans and debts you may need.
The first step in correcting a credit report is to contact your credit bureau that generated your report. (Remember that there are three major credit bureaus—contact the right one!) Whatever claim you make, the bureau will investigate it within 30 days and try to verify the information. If the information cannot be verified, then it will be removed from your credit report and an updated report will be sent to all creditors who requested your report within the last six months.
Remember that information can only be deleted from your credit report if it cannot be verified or it is proven to be false. (Correct information that is negative stays on your report up to seven years after the date of the last activity on the account.) Any other information, negative or otherwise, will stay on your credit report. However, you are allowed to make a 100 word statement regarding a specific issue on your report to explain any circumstances or explanations surrounding a particular item.
Requests to change information on your credit report must be made in writing and can take a long time. You may have to go through phone calls and other correspondence full of red tape, which is definitely not ideal, but the only way to correct anything on your credit report. You will have to wait until the bureau can investigate your correction claims and then the information may have to be changed and sent out to inquiring creditors. The process can take a while, but when it's regarding something as sensitive as your credit and money, you'll want to make sure everything is looking as it should.
Fortunately for your credit peace of mind, you do control what goes on or comes off of your credit report and can say more on top of your credit status. The downside, however, is that it does take time to correct anything false on a credit report, but for your own financial reputation and well-being it's worth it!
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