Consumer credit reports may contain flaws
Consumers today rely heavily on credit, and it’s anticipated credit card use will continue to increase the longer the COVID-19 pandemic continues. However, to gain access to credit with reasonable terms, consumers must have a good credit standing. Many people take precautions to ensure their credit remains unblemished, but sometimes they find themselves struggling with credit management.
Unfortunately, many credit reports contain major mistakes that aren’t the fault of the consumer. The Federal Trade Commission conducted a study a few years ago which found one in five people have errors on at least one of their credit reports. Most people wouldn’t know their traditional credit report contains mistakes unless they check. PRBC offers consumers full transparency on its consumer credit reports.
Do credit report errors hurt consumers?
Errors on credit reports that go uncorrected can negatively impact consumers in many ways. For instance, consumer credit reports are essential to securing a loan for major purchases, such as a home or a car. It can also factor into a landlord’s decision to rent an apartment or for an employer to hire a potential candidate.
If any of these decision-makers see flaws on a credit report, they might be more likely to decline the person’s application. Or, if approved, may offer unfavorable credit terms or ask for more collateral. PRBC believes people shouldn’t pay more than they have to and empowers people to demonstrate their financial responsibility and get the best loan terms possible.
Can a person check their credit report for errors?
Everyone can obtain a free copy of their credit report once a year from each of the major credit reporting companies. Copies can be ordered all at once or separately to spread credit report inspections throughout the year. However, due to COVID-19, consumers currently have free access once a week to their credit reports until April 2021. If the consumer finds errors, they can dispute them at no cost. One of the benefits of using PRBC’s credit solution is people can know what’s on their report anytime for free with no limitations.
What errors should people look for?
Common mistakes people find on credit reports include incorrect names, addresses, phone numbers, and account information (e.g. someone else’s account with a similar name). Other mistakes they find are accounts opened in their name by identity theft or accounts reported as delinquent or late when payments have been timely, to name a few. It’s better to catch errors sooner than later – unfortunately, it’s usually up to the consumer to identify them.
How can credit report errors be fixed?
Blights may indicate a company reporting credit information made a mistake or it could signal fraud has occurred. Anyone who believes their credit report has incorrect information can dispute it under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Report any inaccuracies to the credit reporting company in writing.
- Include copies (don’t send originals) of documents supporting your dispute.
- Explain what you believe to be inaccurate and ask it be removed or corrected.
- Keep copies and send the letter by certified mail with receipt it arrived.
- Send a second letter to the entity that provided incorrect information to the credit reporting agency about the dispute and include copies of supporting documents.
Incorrect information will stay on a credit report for seven years, so it’s important to get any inaccuracies corrected as soon as possible. PRBC's streamlined process is set up so bill payments are verified electronically and all information is transparent to consumers.
PRBC is a better credit score utilizing alternative data. To learn more about our services and solutions contact us today.