Correcting inaccurate credit bureau information can result in a better interest rate even for terrible credit auto loans
Repairing your credit
Even if you have bad credit you can increase your chances for approved auto loans by removing information errors from your credit reports before applying.
We've seen this happen before mainly because we've been in bad credit auto sales for almost two decades here at Auto Credit Express. To help applicants out, our web site is designed so they can learn about issues such as tote the note loans and issues that can lead to repossession, as well as today's topic, disputing credit report errors.
Where to begin
To review your credit reports, you'll need to order a copy of each one. You can request them online at www.annualcreditreport.com (you are entitled to one per year from each of the three bureaus at no cost to you).
There are also companies such as FreeScore360.com that, for a fee, will supply you with all three (plus your credit scores).
Once you receive your reports, carefully review the information and check for crossed or duplicate information, records that should be expired, data errors and fraudulent information.
The length of time negative information can remain on your reports varies. The length for some common items are as follows:
Tax liens – These can appear indefinitely if they aren't paid. Once paid, they can appear for an additional 7 years from the date paid.
Bankruptcies – Expire 10 years after the filing date with each account record that was 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. In the case of collection records, the expiration takes place 7 years after the last 180 day late payment that led to the collection action.
Inquiries – Records such as credit requests or loan applications can remain on a credit report for 1 to 2 years.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute incomplete and inaccurate information in your credit files.
Equifax and TransUnion will allow you to mail in disputes and, along with Experian, also offer an online process. In the dispute letter, be sure to include your name and address, a copy of the credit report listing the inaccuracies and any supporting material you may have such as account records, statements and lender correspondence.
Credit reports also contain the information needed to directly contact creditors – either by phone or in writing. If a creditor indicates that the information was incorrect, be sure to get this in writing. Also, be sure to keep any paperwork concerning disputes. If a creditor continues to report the wrong information, you can send copies of it to the credit bureaus to have the notation removed.
Credit bureaus are required to investigate and make changes within 30 days following a dispute filing. Once it's complete, they will inform you by letter of the information that was or was not changed.
Once this process is completed, you can order a final credit report at no charge to verify that the changes have been made.
The next step
If your credit scores are still below 640, you should know that at Auto Credit Express we help people with bad car credit find a dealer for their best chance at approved auto loans.
So if you're serious about getting your auto credit back on track, you can begin by filling out our online auto loans application.