The purpose of getting your credit report is not only to check your credit score, but to also ensure that all of the information on the report is correct. Not only could you be missing out on things that can improve your score drastically, someone could be trying to steal your identity. Identity theft is more common than you think, and can go unnoticed fairly easily if you don’t remain diligent.
Report The Error Immediately
Contact the company that reported the derogatory information and request that they correct it immediately. You should also report identity theft to the government so hopefully the perpetrator will be caught and stopped.
How To Prevent Credit Fraud
It’s important to check your credit report regularly. This is especially true if you’re preparing to apply for a mortgage loan. The best part is, you can receive a free credit report every year. You can also access three different credit reports from multiple major credit reporting agencies like Experian and TransUnion. They will likely all list the same information. While all three credit reports should be similar, each company has different factors when determining your credit score. Some credit card companies also provide you with a free credit report as often as you like.
Your credit report offers a summary of your credit history and activity. Catching these errors early prevent the problem from snowballing out of control. You can dispute the error and get it fixed. Unfortunately it can take a few weeks. This is why it’s so important to check your credit statement before applying for a mortgage loan.
Your Lender Can Help
If you already have a mortgage application in progress, your lender may be able to help you correct your credit history quickly. Only your lender has access to “rapid re-score” companies. It’s not something you can do on your own. But they can fix problems with your credit report very quickly as long as you can prove the items are wrong or fraudulent.
What To Check For When Looking For Errors
- Wrong name, phone number or address
- Accounts belonging to another person with the same or a similar name
- Incorrect accounts due to identity theft
- Incorrect reporting of account status
- Closed accounts reported as open
- Accounts incorrectly reported as late or delinquent
- Incorrect date of last payment, date opened, or date of first delinquency
- The same debt listed more than once
- Data management errors
- Reinsertion of incorrect info after it was corrected
- Accounts appearing multiple times with different creditors listed
- Accounts with an incorrect current balance or credit limit.
Check for inquires for companies you don’t recognize or haven’t purchased from before. A thief will often do a few small purchases before trying to open a new account to see if he or she can get away with the fraud.
Fix The Errors
Contest the errors with each of the credit reporting agencies and they will guide you through the process. You will have to explain what you think is wrong on the report and why. You will also need to include copies of evidence to prove the truth.
Is It Really Worth The Hassle?
Fixing errors can really help improve your credit score which can help you secure a better mortgage loan at a lower rate. Even just adding missing information or fixing incorrect information can improve your credit score. And more than affecting your credit, people can steal your entire identity which can be a huge mess to try to fix. By simply checking your credit reports, you will be able to prevent this from happening.
By keeping a close watch on your credit report, you can halt thieves in their tracks. It is such a simple thing to do which can prevent a ton of headache in the future.
For help with your mortgage or to speak with a lender, contact A1 Mortgage here.
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