FEATURE ARTICLE: How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
Your credit report contains the following information:
- Where you live
- How you pay your bills
- Whether you have been sued
- Whether you have been arrested
- If you filed for bankruptcy
Consumer reporting agencies sell the information to creditors, insurers, employers and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s consumer reporting companies.
Some financial advisors and consumer advocates suggest that you review your credit report
- Because the information it contains affects whether you can get a loan—and how much you will have to pay to borrow money.
- To make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan for a major purchase like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
- To help guard against identity theft. That is when someone uses your personal information—like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number—to commit fraud.
Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they do not pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit
report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.
To get a full worksheet on how to dispute errors on your credit report, click HERE
MONEY SAVING TIP: Cell Phones
“For $9.88, you can buy a TracFone (prepaid cell phone) with pretty decent coverage and pay by the minute,” says Mike Sullivan, director of education at Take Charge America in Phoenix. “And if you’re careful, you can end up saving $40 to $50 a month off a typical $80 cell phone bill.” He also recommends canceling your land line unless you have medical issues that may require emergency calls.
DID YOU KNOW…Your income does not affect your credit score
People tend to assume that the more money they make, the higher their credit score will be, but that’s not the case. While it’s true your income may affect your ability to pay your bills on time, it has no bearing on your credit score, Albary says.
Your income can, however, influence a lender’s decision to approve you for a loan. This is because lenders often compare the income you’ve listed on your application to the debts listed on your credit report in an attempt to judge your ability to make monthly payments.