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How to Correct Credit Billing Errors

By Karen Anderson
Published: Friday, November 27th, 2009

It is of prime importance that our credit reports reflect accurate and up to date information. This is because when we apply for loans or credit, our report is one of the key tools that our creditors analyze. This means that favorable decisions are usually based on whether we have a good credit standing or not. 

Proper monitoring of our credit reports is an essential advice among credit report tips. This is because credit reports are not fool proof. Many would testify that that their credit reports contain erroneous or outdated information. One such mistake is credit billing errors. 

Fortunately, there is a law in place that protects consumers from such errors. This law is the Fair Credit Billing Act or the FCBA. Accordingly, the law is applied to what is called an “open end” credit accounts. Belonging in this category are credit cards, revolving charge accounts and overdraft checking. 

One of the key credit report tips is obtaining a copy of our credit report. That way, we are easily able to dispute any wrong information. For instance, there are cases when our account reflects charges that we did not make. Other errors include inaccurate charges wherein the wrong amount or date is reflected. Sometimes payments made could also be unreflected. The FCBA covers disputes on errors such as these. 

What then are the procedures to be lowed in order to correct credit billing errors? The first step among the credit report tips is to write a billing error notice and to send it to the creditor. By doing so, we become protected by the law. However, we should do this as quickly as possible for our notice should reach our creditor within 60 days. The counting of days starts from the time we first received the bill containing the erroneous information.

The letter in turn should contain the following information: our name and account number, and a statement indicating our suspicion that the bill contains a billing error. Also to be included in the letter is the amount of the bill, and the reasons why we believe an error occurred. We should send our letter through certified mail. This is for proper documentation of dates of mailing and receipt.

Also frequently mentioned in credit report tips is to send copies rather than originals of supporting documents. 

Once the creditor gets hold of the letter, it should be acknowledged in writing within 30 days after it has been received. The creditor should then investigate the matter as soon as possible. If it is indeed confirmed that an error was made, then it should be corrected immediately. If otherwise, then a statement should be issued which explains why the bill is maintained to be correct.

Another advice among credit report tips is to withhold payments while the bill is being disputed. In the same way, the creditor is prohibited from collecting the said amount. Our credit rating should be unaffected while the dispute as going on. However, our creditor could report that we are disputing our bill.

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