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Correcting Credit Report Mistakes

Borrowers that find themselves with poor credit in many cases find that correcting and removing inaccurate and out of date information found in their credit reports can often improve their credit scores
Correcting Credit Report Mistakes
What we know

Car buyers with damaged credit can, in some instances, increase their chances of qualifying for an auto loan by correcting the inaccuracies and having outdated negative entries removed from their credit file before starting the application process.

Here at Auto Credit Express we’ve seen the results of these kinds of efforts because for more than two decades we’ve been helping consumers with bad credit that have been searching for online car loans find those dealers that can offer their best chances for car loan approvals.

Having said that, here are some tips on how to correct inaccuracies and delete any outdated negative information found in your credit reports:

Step one: ordering reports

To receive credit reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies, consumers can enter a request online at www.annualcreditreport.com (individuals are entitled to one per year from each bureau at no charge).

A second choice: companies such as FreeScore360.com will, for a fee, furnish a report plus a credit score from each of the three bureaus.

Step two: reviewing reports

Review each report and check for duplicate data, records that should be expired, reporting errors and fraudulent information.

The length of time negative information can remain on reports varies. The lengths for some common items are as follows:

Tax liens - Indefinitely if not paid. Once paid, they can appear for an additional 7 years from the date paid.

Bankruptcy – 10 years following the filing date, with each account record included in the bankruptcy remaining on the report for 7 years.

Charge-offs, collections, closed negative accounts, foreclosures, late payments and repossessions - Each can appear for 7 years. Collection records expire 7 years after the last 180 day late payment that led to collection action.

Inquiries - Records such as credit requests and loan applications can remain for 1 to 2 years.

Step three: disputing entries

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to dispute incomplete and inaccurate information in their credit files.

Equifax and TransUnion will allow mail-in disputes and, along with Experian, also offer an online process. Make sure to include your name, address, a copy of the credit report listing the inaccuracies and any supporting material such as account records, statements and lender correspondence in the dispute letter.

Credit reports also contain the information needed to directly contact creditors – by phone or in writing. If a creditor acknowledges that the information was incorrect, get it in writing. Keep all paperwork – if a creditor continues to report inaccurate information you can send copies of it to the credit bureaus to have the inaccuracy removed.

If you find that accounts are missing from one or more of your credit reports, it could be caused by something as simple as a name change. Keep in mind, however, that creditors are not required to report information to all or even any of the bureaus.

Step four: corrective actions

Credit bureaus are required to investigate and make any changes within 30 days of a dispute filing. Once complete, they’ll inform you by letter of any information that was or was not changed.

Once you’ve completed the process, you can order a final credit report at no charge to verify that all changes have been made.

Once the process is completed

Once the process is complete, if you find that you still have problems with your credit, we want you to know that Auto Credit Express specializes in matching consumers with damaged car credit to dealers that can offer them their best chances for approved car loans.

So if you’re ready to establish your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loan application.

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