Congratulations on taking the first steps towards cleaning up your credit and getting your finances back on track! Reclaiming your credit score is one of the best things you can do to ensure a brighter financial future for you and your family.
When you hear back from the credit agencies, you will be told whether or not your claim is accepted and changes will be made or not. If you’re having a hard time getting something fixed, it might be because of several factors. First, if the bank or lender disagrees with your claim, you will have a hard time convincing anyone else that the claim is legit. If you lack enough proof or information, or discover something that you can build a stronger case you should file another claim. There is no limit to how many you can file. If you are denied, you can refile with more information that lends credibility to your claim of an error. Remember to deal with the credit agencies first and foremost. It may seem easier to go straight to the source (bank, credit card company, phone provider), but it may undermine your chances of resolving things in the long run. If you bypass the credit bureaus’ dispute system, you may be forfeiting your right to fight back if the lender fails to resolve the issue.
Cleaning Up Your Credit Report
If your account has been confused with someone else’s, whether because of a clerical error or fraud the path to resolution is different. If you suspect fraud, you need to contact the credit bureau right away to have them put a fraud alert on your file to limit any more damage to your score. Always start with the credit bureau when dealing with identity fraud. If you decide to take legal action, then this is the path you will need to have started on.
If something appears on your credit report that is more than seven years old, by law it should be dropped of your credit report and you are entitled to fight it. A bankruptcy may stay on the report up to ten years. You have every right to fight back against any expired debt and demand it is removed. Beware restarting the clock by speaking to debt collectors though. It is a slippery slope if you agree to anything over the phone in regards to repayment of debt. Any debt collector who is threatening legal action on a debt older than seven years may be trying to scare you as the debt it past its statue of limitations.
Speaking of legal action, if all else fails you may need to seek out a lawyer who specializes in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. At the end of the day, a lawyer knows the ins and outs of the system and may be worth the time and money to have this issue taken care of.
Read part 1 of Angie’s Living on $30,000 Best Frugal Tips on Thriving and (not just surviving) on $30,000 a year!
Part 2 – Basic Home Budgeting
Part 4 – How to Not Spend Money
Part 6 – Money Management Skill
Part 7 – Why Couples Should Talk About Money?
I am a stay at home mom and happily married to my husband Tom. I have a five year old daughter and a two and a half year old son. I grew up in Orlando, but went to school in New York City and lived in Los Angeles before moving home to raise a family. I have worked in the film industry since the early nineties, and for over a decade with the Florida Film Festival. I also spent many years working in marketing with Glaceau and Honest Tea. But, I am happiest at home building my family.
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