A clean credit report contains information about where you work, live and how you pay your bills (On time or not).
It also may show whether you've been sued, arrested or have filed for bankruptcy with in the last 10 years. Companies called consumer reporting agencies (cra) or credit bureaus compile and sell your information to businesses all over the world.
Clean credit is very important because businesses use this information to evaluate your applications for loans, insurance, employment, and other purposes allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it's important that your report is clean, complete and accurate.
Whenever you apply for any type of financing, a report is pulled from at least one of the three major consumer reporting agencies. You want a clean report to be pulled. While there are hundreds of smaller bureaus around the country, virtually every bureau is affiliated with either Experian, Trans Union, or Equifax.
If you've been denied a loan, insurance, or employment because of information supplied by a consumer reporting agency, the FCRA says the company you applied to must give you the agency`s name, address, and telephone number. If you contact the agency for a copy within 60 days of receiving a denial notice, it is free. In addition, you're entitled to one free copy a year.
If you simply want a copy of your report, call each consumer reporting agency listed since more than one agency may have a file on you.
The three major national consumer reporting agencies are:
To protect all your rights under the law and to keep your credit clean contact both the consumer reporting agency (CRA) and the information provider.
First tell the consumer reporting agency in writing what you believe is inaccurate. Include copies (please keep your originals) of documents that support your position.
In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your report you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request deletion or correction. Always keep copies of your dispute letter.
They must re-investigate the items in question, usually within 30 days, unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all relevant data you provide about the dispute to the provider.
After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the CRA, it must investigate, review all relevant information provided by the CRA, and report the results to the consumer reporting agency (CRA).
If the provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate, it must notify all nationwide CRAs so they can correct this in your file. Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file, then you will receive a credit report, with that item removed.
When the reinvestigation is complete, they must give you the written results and a free copy of your credit report, if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or removed, they cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the provider verifies its accuracy and completeness.
Also, if you request, they must send notices of corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months. Job applicants can have a corrected copy of their report sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes. If a reinvestigation does not resolve your dispute, ask the CRA to include your statement of the dispute in your file and in future reports.
Second, in addition to writing to the agency's, tell the creditor or other provider in writing that you dispute an item. Again, include copies (please not originals) of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes.
If the provider then reports the item to any consumer reporting agency, it must include a notice of your dispute. In addition, if you are correct that is, if the disputed information is not accurate the provider may not use it again, thus you will have a clean credit report.
When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal. Accurate negative information can generally stay on your report for 7 years.
Your credit file may not reflect all your accounts. Although most national department stores and all-purpose bank card accounts will be included in your file, not all creditors supply information: Some travel, entertainment, gasoline card companies, local retailers, and credit unions are among those creditors that don't report clean credit.
If you've been told you were denied because of an insufficient file or no file and you have accounts with creditors that don't appear in your file, ask the CRA to add this information to future reports.
This will help get you on the road to a clean credit report. Although they are not required to do so, many CRAs will add verifiable accounts for a fee. You should, however, understand that if these creditors do not report to the CRA on a regular basis, these added items will not be updated in your file.
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