Is Your Credit Report Accurate?

In today’s world, a lot rides on your credit report, and keeping that report up-to-date and accurate is extremely important.

Last month I talked about one thing you might do to clean up your credit report, that is, requesting that a federal tax liens be withdrawn, not just released, if you qualify. Once you have been notified by the IRS that the lien has been withdrawn, I recommend you obtain a copy of your credit report to confirm it has been done.

But do you know what other errors or possible corrections to look for or how to go about cleaning up your credit report?

First of all, go through the entire report and find any information that is out-of-date. This commonly occurs with unfavorable information that’s over seven years old – such as lawsuits, judgments, criminal records, paid tax liens, late payments, or overdue child support. You should also look out for any bankruptcies listed that occurred over 10 years prior and any credit inquiries over two years old. There’s no sense in keeping that information on your credit report if you no longer have to.

Your next objective is to clean out any inaccurate information. This can include incorrect names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, social security numbers, or inaccurate employment information. Other inaccuracies may include bankruptcies that aren’t listed by their specific chapter number, any erroneous accounts or lawsuits, and any closed accounts still listed as open. You should also remove any accounts that you closed if the report does not indicate “closed by consumer” afterward. Sometimes, you may even find that your credit report incorrectly shows you as having made late payments when you always paid on time.

You can always request the removal of bad information on your credit report. Fill out a dispute form provided by the credit bureau and list every error with a detailed description. Those changes should be made within 30 days.

If the bureau responds to your dispute by saying that everything is accurate, contact them directly to discuss the problem.

If you need assistance or additional information, contact an attorney who may be able to assist you or provide additional information.