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3 Things You Need to Know About Being Your Own Credit Score Watchdog

26 Dec , 2014  

Your credit score, in many ways, is your lifeline, your genetic code, DNA, fabric of your very being (not really); and sadly, not many see it that way. All that credit score shows you is how great you are (or not) with paying your bills. That’s it. That’s nothing much to consider, is it? Oh, but it is, especially when that score makes the difference between you owning or not owning a home. Or a car even. That credit score makes DNA credit scorebig difference.

You Have to Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Credit

This isn’t just because you want to make sure you don’t miss any payments. The fact is this — everyone out there has slipped up and forgotten about a payment or two, and just about no one has ever obtained a perfect credit score. The main reason, though, why you need to be a watchdog with your own credit rating is this: you’re not the 0nly one who can make a mistake! Why do you think there are three major credit bureaus out there? Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Inaccuracies abound for every individual in the United States, so as efficient and correct as these bureaus may be, even the most thorough specialist can slip up and cause a major ding in your credit report, preventing you from even having the ability to borrow money from a bank. In many cases, your credit score can even determine whether or not you’d be a good employee! Yes, your credit rating can directly affect your employment. So why sit on your hands and let faceless people determine your credit score for you? Be proactive. Be a watchdog by following these three steps:

german shepherd credit scoreWrite a Letter to the Credit Bureau That Made the Error

Whether it’s Equifax, Experian or TransUnion, it doesn’t matter; mistakes happen. If you review your credit report and you see a problem with one of them, your first step is to address that bureau in writing. It’s just a typical letter with your name and address, plus details as to what the error is and why. Substantiate it. Treat this as if you’re a lawyer, arguing a point. Always stick to the facts. Include all the relevant evidence as well: original documents, receipts, canceled checks, invoices. The more information, the better. To make it even easier, enclose that copy of your credit report and circle those erroneous items, whatever they may be. Be sure to send a similar letter to the company or lender regarding the transaction as well. Both letters need to be sent through certified mail with return receipt requested. As you may notice again — this is truly legal protocol, methodical, almost military documentation style. This is the type of watchdog you need to be with your credit score — a veritable German Shepherd.

Now, Naturally, the Credit Bureau May Respond

Under law, a credit bureau must investigate claims within 30 days. So pay attention to your calendar. Typically the bureau will forward the dispute to the correct department, determining any errors if necessary. What you need to expect is a document in writing explaining the results as well as another free copy of your credit report. This is all legally mandated by law. Additionally, correction notices can be requested for anyone receiving your report in the past six months. In essence, you’re covering all your bases.taking notes credit report

Get Your Dispute Written on Your Credit Report

Believe it or not, but you can do that. Anyone viewing your report and your credit score will see that you have, in fact, disputed a particular transaction or account. This benefits you as far as anyone’s interpretation and evaluation of your credit score. The statement doesn’t have to be more than 100 words. Just something simple stating that you’ve “disputed the information.” In addition, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Response Center by phone (877-FTC-HELP), or even file the report online. You don’t have to hit a brick wall here. If you truly believe there was an error, pursue it until you receive at least some relief. The accuracy of your credit score and report matters.

It’s Your Yard: Protect It

Just remember: your credit score arises from something. It’s your right to know what that something is. That’s why you can obtain a credit report and review all the details. If anything looks off, don’t hesitate; investigate it. Why? Because you never know if you had discovered an error that could be eliminated, making the difference in obtaining your rent-to-own home with the assistance of the H.O.P.E. to Own program. Be a watchdog.

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