According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), credit report errors have more than doubled during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the CFPB found that many pandemic protections designed to help consumers, such as loan forbearance periods on federal student loans and federally guaranteed mortgages, ended up having an impact. negative on their credit reports due to complications such as processing delays and suspended payments. poorly marked. 1 This is a significant issue for many consumers, as credit report errors can negatively impact creditworthiness and potentially lead to negative financial consequences, such as being offered higher mortgage interest rates or be denied a job or an apartment lease.
Fortunately, changes made during the pandemic have made it easier to get your credit report under control. Under expanded new rules, you can now get a free weekly credit report from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus until April 20, 2022. For free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com where you can fill out an online form, choose the reports you want and, after answering a few security questions, view your reports online.
If you find an error on your credit report, you can take steps to correct it. First, contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the error. You can do this online or by mail. Explain why you dispute the information and be sure to include documentation to support your dispute. The credit bureau usually has 30 to 45 days to investigate the disputed information. Once the investigation is complete, the credit bureau should provide you with written results. If the credit bureau confirms that your credit report contains errors, the information on your report should be deleted or corrected.
If you disagree with the results of the credit bureau’s investigation, you can request that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You can also contact the creditor who reported the information to the credit bureau and dispute it directly with the creditor. If the creditor finds that the information is inaccurate, they must notify each credit bureau to which they reported the information so that the information can be updated or deleted. If you believe the error is the result of identity theft, you may need to take additional steps to fix the problem, such as placing a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file.
Keep in mind that correcting a credit report error can often be a long and emotionally draining process. If at any time you believe your credit reporting rights are being violated, you may file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at consumerfinance.gov.
1) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2021
Tim Bartholomew is an investment representative with Greene Investment Services located at the Bank of Greene County. Please call 518-943-2600 ext. 2153 with your comments or questions. Investment and insurance products and services are offered by INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. FINRA/SIPC member. Greene Investment Services is a trading name of Bank of Greene County. Infinix and Bank of Greene County are not affiliated. The products and services made available by Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations neither guaranteed nor insured by any bank or affiliated bank. These products are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of value. Prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions Copyright 2022.