When you need to borrow money for a loan that could help with school, housing, a car, or other important purchases, you’ll need established credit for the creditor to approve the loan. The creditors will look into your credit history to see if giving you a loan is a safe or risky decision. Your history will give you a score, which the creditors can use to help with their decision.
However, if there is an issue with this report, it can damage your credit and your chances for loans. When you’re seeking to fix a credit error, it’s important to have a Charleston credit report dispute lawyer on your side. DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will help you with your dispute.
What You Need to Know About the Fair Credit Reporting Act
You are able to see a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. You can request a report from each of the three major companies that report credit: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You are able to do this because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FCRA also helps keep the credit information private and accurate. It’s also supposed to make sure everyone gets a fair score. This is essential for situations where you’re seeking a loan, but other parties may check your credit as well. Additional parties that may look into your credit include:
- Insurance companies. They may use your credit score to find the rate they give you.
- Landlords. If you’re seeking an apartment, your landlord may check your credit to see if you’ll likely be a reliable tenant and the amount of your security deposit.
- Employers. If you’re applying for a job, your credit score could be a factor in your employer’s background research of you.
As you can see, it’s essential to have good credit, and being able to check your credit allows you to be aware of where you’re standing. You may be wondering how you receive your credit score. Let’s go into the factors that make up your credit report so you can further understand how the score is determined.
Checking Your Credit Report
When you’re checking your credit, it’s important to understand the score you’re seeing. Typically, credit scores range from 300-850, with 300 being poor credit and 850 being excellent. Your score is determined by a number of factors:
- Credit cards
- The amount of loans you’ve taken out
- Timeliness on payments
- Outstanding debt
- The accounts you have and the age of the accounts
As you’re reviewing your report, keep an eye out for common credit errors. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, credit report errors that are most common can be:
- Personal Information. If there’s an error with your name, address, or phone number, it could be from a data entry error. However, there could also be an issue with someone who has a similar name to you showing up on your credit report. If you were a victim of identity theft, then you may also have incorrect accounts on your report.
- Account Errors. Your report may show closed accounts as open, incorrect payment data, or have accounts that are wrongly reported as late.
- Balance Issues. Incorrect balance or credit limits can appear on a credit report.
- Data Errors. After correcting information, the wrong information may be reentered in your account. You may also see multiples of accounts, but with different creditors.
If you see these issues, then you’ll want to dispute the error so your report is correct and you get a fair credit score. A Charleston credit report dispute attorney can help you with the next steps.
Submitting a Credit Report Dispute
After discovering a credit report error, it’s essential to act quickly. To fix the error, you need to send in the correct documentation to the appropriate parties. Contacting the credit reporting company and the company that gave them the information is how you correct these mistakes. Both parties can receive the dispute.
You can dispute the credit report online, on the phone, or by mail. On your report, you will have a consumer identification or report number, and the credit reporting company can use this to determine who you are.
You’ll need to provide your personal information and know what you’re disputing. Have the item that you’re disputing and why this information isn’t correct. You can also request a confirmation from the credit reporting company that the error was fixed.
Depending on the company that you’re making the dispute to and the way you choose to dispute the claim, you may want to research the information they require for a valid dispute. It can be overwhelming to get your dispute in order and to make sure you have everything that you need to correct the error.
The best way to make a strong dispute is to have the aid of a Charleston credit report dispute lawyer in West Virginia. Our firm will make sure you’ve provided all the necessary information and have listed all the errors you’re disputing.
Get the Representation You Deserve for a Credit Report Dispute
While finding a credit error on your report can be jarring, we’re here to help you correct it so you get a fair and accurate credit score. You have rights under consumer protection law, and the lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will help you defend those rights and get the record straight.
If the credit reporting company violates the FCRA, such as not conducting an investigation within 30 days of receiving the dispute, still supplying information even though you’ve reported identity theft, or other violations, our lawyers will help you hold them accountable. Refusing to put accurate data in your credit report may be grounds for a lawsuit.
Whether you’re in the beginning stages of disputing an error or you’re filing a lawsuit because the credit reporting company will not respond to your dispute, an experienced lawyer from our firm in Charleston, West Virginia is ready to fight for you. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.