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Accurate Credit Report Essential to Excellent Consumer Rating

By Faye Mergel
Published: Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Consumers can get lower interest rates on their mortgage if they have a high credit score. But their scores at times suffer because of the inaccuracies on their credit report. Consequently, this causes them to lose hundreds of dollars on monthly mortgage payment, as inaccurate credit reports make them pay higher than they deserve. Experts highly suggest checking those documents for inaccuracies, as they can cost more than consumers could imagine.

Accurate Credit Report Essential to Excellent Consumer Rating The three major bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—leave it up to consumers to make sure that their credit reports are free of errors. They assume that consumers care enough about their history to make sure that it is accurate. But most consumers do not even bother to check if their credit history is recorded as it is. Much more, many do not even pull out their credit report until they got rejected for a loan.

To make sure that a report is free of errors, the first step is of course to order a copy of it from all the major bureaus. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended in 2003, entitles every consumer a free copy of his report once in every twelve months. The bureaus are allowed by federal law to charge consumers if they order subsequent copies within that period. Consumers usually pay $15 for every additional copy they order.
Upon checking their credit report, consumers are advised not to assume that the balance on an account is correct just because that account is correct. Those accounts could contain fraudulent items or inaccurate information.

Additionally, there are cases when a creditor mistakenly reports a missed payment on a mortgage or card account. This could greatly affect a consumer’s score and ability to get lower interest rates upon loan application.

Inaccurate credit reports may also keep a consumer from getting insurance. Inaccurate items could make one should higher premium rates on auto, personal, and home insurance. Moreover, landlords review a credit report and charge higher monthly rents if they find numerous black marks on that document.

Experts advise consumers to list every inaccurate or erroneous item they find and dispute those mistakes with the bureaus concerned. They note that each bureau receives different information from creditors, so it is important for consumers to get their credit report from all of the major bureaus. The dispute must be filed to the bureau issuing an erroneous report, specialists say.

Consumers are reminded that creditors judge them according to their credit score, making it imperative for them to be sure that they are rated according to how well they actually manage their finances.

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