Using credit report disputes to make yourself heard
As a responsible adult who stays on top of your credit reports by regularly reviewing them, you may experience a heart sinking sensation along with a feeling of hopelessness if and when you find inaccurate information on any of your credit reports. However, it is important to realize that you are not without power in this situation. Rather, you can use credit report disputes to make yourself heard with the credit bureaus.
Credit reports are essentially your financial report card. They record your financial history, from basic information such as your name, employer, and past addresses, to the details of your financial life, including information on the various credit cards you own, mortgages you have or have had, and any other lines of credit you have or have had open. They also indicate other information such as whether or not you have ever declared bankruptcy, if you have ever defaulted on a student loan, or if you have had a judgment or lien against you. Credit reports give a history of your financial payments, and indicate whether an account is open as well as whether or not you have ever had any late payments. All of this financial information can remain on your credit report for a specified length of time, typically up to seven years. Therefore, when you notice questionable negative information on your account, you don't want to wait seven years or more for it to be removed -- it is important to take action now.
Credit disputes act as checks and balances within the credit system
With credit reports acting as a repository of and report for all of your past and present financial information, it is easy for some information that appears on your credit reports to be reported inaccurately. Multiple parties including lenders, collectors, credit card companies, and sometimes courts may be adding information to your credit reports. With all of this data changing hands and with no verification taking place on the side of the credit bureaus, mistakes do happen. Because of this, it is important to identify and dispute any information on your credit report that you feel is inaccurate, untimely, misleading, incomplete, ambiguous, unverifiable, biased, or unclear.
Submitting a credit bureau dispute is your way to have a voice in the credit reporting system. Submitting a dispute is your opportunity to request that the credit bureaus prove that negative information truly does belong on your credit reports. With a credit dispute, you are able to work towards making sure the information on your credit report is correct and provides an accurate picture of your financial history.