Just the words “credit report” make many want to cringe as they think of those late payments they made, or that time something just didn’t go through, causing what you might think might be irreparable damage to that record almost every consumer carries with them as they go about the business of buying things. But if something isn’t right, how can you fix it?
A little rule you might find handy: If you dispute something in your credit report, credit bureaus generally must investigate within 30 days and remove the information if it’s wrong or can’t be verified at that time, reports the Chicago Tribune.
It’s not always easy to fix errors, however: The Federal Trade Commission received 31,629 complaints in 2009 about credit bureaus last year about credit bureaus and the companies that supply information to them.
The government is stepping in to help with a few new rules that could help.
Beginning in July, businesses are going to have to do their own inquiries when disputes arise. When consumers call information into question, the company must then look into the matter and respond within 30 days, said Pavneet Singh, an FTC attorney.
Creditors will also have tell consumers if something in their reports is the reason behind less favorable terms for a consumer, starting in January. Right now they only have to tell consumers if they’re denied credit based on info in a credit report. They can then either send a letter to the customer who will then have access to a free credit report, or they can provide free scores to all consumers applying for credit.
Is there a way to just you know, boost my score? Eh? No? Keeping my fingers crossed for that day.
How to mend a broken credit report [Chicago Tribune]