By Rochelle N. Belnap, The Arizona Credit Law Group, PLLC
Many people have errors on their credit report but don’t know it or what to do about it. So if you are looking to clean up your credit here is a short list of the errors to look out for that can drag down your credit score:
Late Payments. Being late on your credit report means that you are 30 days late, so if you were not 30 days late but 1 day or 15 days or 28 days, then your credit report should not reflect a “late” payment. Three quick notes on this: First, if the late payments are older than 24 months they are probably not hurting your credit score and probably not worth fixing. Second, if you were late and it was your fault, then the reporting is likely accurate and you shouldn’t dispute it. Third, being 1 day late is enough for the creditor to assess you late fees, higher interest rates, etc. check your contract for more info.
Not your account. Sometimes other people’s information ends up on your credit report in error. Whether the account belongs to a family member or a total stranger it should not appear on your credit report. If it is derogatory or a negative credit item you should dispute it immediately.
Identity Theft. When identity theft happens, your credit is at risk because someone might open credit cards, mortgages, car loans, etc. in your name and you won’t realize it until you review your credit report. If you find accounts that are not yours, make sure they don’t belong to you by requesting documentation from the creditor and dispute it, if necessary.
There are many types of errors but these are the most common. If you want to dispute these items you can do it online using Equifax, Experian, and Transunion’s system, or you can mail them your written dispute along with supporting documentation. Their mailing addresses are PO Boxes and can be found easily online (they periodically change so I won’t list them here).
Hope this helps and good luck! Thanks for reading!