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According to some estimates, as many as one quarter of all credit reports contain serious errors – the kind of errors that can cause you to be denied credit or charged considerably higher interest rates than you deserve, or even prevent you from landing your dream job. If you are late making payments on a credit card or on an installment loan, your creditor may contact one or more of the three credit bureaus that keep track of your creditworthiness. The three credit bureaus are Equifax, Transperian and Trans Union. Your creditors will probably report any missed credit payments to one or more of these agencies, although there is no law requiring them to do so.

Demand That Your Good Credit is Reported As Well

Most consumers expect their bad credit to be reported to the credit bureaus, but many fail to demand that their good credit be reported as well. Loans that are paid off on time need to be noted the same as any missed payments. This is why it is advisable that you check your credit reports at least twice a year – to make certain that there are no errors on your report as well as to make certain that loans you have paid off on time are also included.

What To Do If You Dispute An Entry On Your Credit Report

If you dispute something in your credit report, start by writing a letter to the credit bureau advising them that you dispute the entry and ask that they contact the creditor asking for verification. Send the letter by registered mail and ask for a return receipt. Allow at least 40 days for any action and then recheck your credit report. If the disputed item is still on your report, call or email the credit bureau and ask what the status of the item is. If they tell you that the creditor claims the item is valid then your next step is to contact the creditor directly. Send a registered letter, with a return receipt requested, to the creditor and demand that they provide proof of the disputed item. By law they must provide you with the terms of the original loan and they must provide proof that you failed to make one or more payments on time. Often loans have been sold and such paperwork is no longer available. In that case demand that the charge be removed from your credit record.

What to Do If The Bad Report is Valid

If there is a negative entry on your credit report and the entry is valid, it is still possible to get it removed or at least amended. Write to your creditor and explain that times have changed and that you now wish to make good on your obligation – in exchange for them reporting to the credit bureau that the loan has been paid. Not all creditors will co-operate with you, but many will. Follow up by rechecking your credit report 45 days after you have made a final loan payment to see that your creditor has kept their end of the bargain. If they haven’t, write to them and remind them of your deal and ask that they remove the item from your credit file or at least amend the item to make note of the fact that the obligation has been taken care of.

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