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How To Resolve Debt Disputes Quickly

Nov 18, 2007
There may be times when you get a negative report from the credit reporting agencies. This can have a huge impact on whether or not you get a loan or even a particular job. If this happens to you, there are some things that you can, but you must first know the law.

First of all, all consumers must understand that they cannot legally remove or demand to have removed any negative information that is actually true and accurate. You may, however, ask that an investigation of information that you believe to be inaccurate or false be conducted on your behalf.

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

* You are legally entitled to a free copy of your report if a company takes adverse action against you. Adverse actions include such things as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment. You must request your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. This notice will contain the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company that you should contact. You are entitled to one free report a year if you are unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days, or if you are on some form of welfare, or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.

* The nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are required by law to give you a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

These companies have set up a website, a toll-free telephone number, and a mailing address that you can use to order your report.

* You are allowed to dispute mistakes that are on your report or have outdated entries fixed for free. Under the FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (that is, the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a consumer reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.

Whenever you are dealing with your credit report be sure that you are dealing with the right company. There are many websites and companies that are offering so-called "free credit reports". These companies should be avoided as they often require you to buy into something other than your credit report before they deliver your report to you. There is no good reason to work through these companies when you can get what you need straight from the three reporting agencies.

It may take some time to get your disputed information corrected but this is time well worth the effort. The last thing you want or need is inaccurate information on your credit reports as these are used to determine your credit score as well as for other uses including (in some cases) the amount of premiums you will have to pay for auto insurance. Make sure your information is correct to avoid these problems.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Debt Consolidation and IVA Help
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