Understanding Your Credit Report
Credit Collectors Breaking the Rules
It’s a well known fact: the bureaus don’t make reading a credit report very easy. I remember reading my first report when I was 22. I sat there, determined with my coffee and highlighter in hand, to read and understand my report and begin taking the first steps in fixing my credit! Two pages in of the 17 page packet, I came to the realization that it could take me less time to decipher ancient Sanskrit then I could my report. Alright, maybe not to that extreme, but, I promise, my frustration is not being exaggerated. Why is it so hard to read your credit report? Why don’t the collectors and bureaus make it simple for everyone? It is due to the fact that the harder it is for you to read your report, the harder it is to find the mistakes being reported.
The credit bureaus have received a lot of publicity lately regarding inaccurate information being reported on hundreds upon thousands of reports. Nobody disputes the information, because nobody can read the darn things! There are items such as wrong addresses, joint accounts that do not belong to the account holder, paid off collections reporting a balance, items belonging to family members or roommates and the list goes on and on. What are the benefits to reporting inaccuratly? None. In fact, the bureaus receive about 20,000 dispute letters a month! It is not in their best interested to add incorrect information, but some items slip through the cracks. It is not meant to be malicious. It is not out of spite. It’s basic miscommunication.
We have all played the telephone game where you whisper something to someone, they pass it along and every time it falls on new ears the message gets interpreted differently. As credit collectors sell off your debts to other companies, your information is being passed on, and many times, incorrectly as well. With an overwhelming flow of accounts coming in daily, sometimes the 1 line provided to the new collector with your basic information is enough for them–hence opening the door to a list of inaccuracies. They have your name, your amount owed and sometimes that will suffice. They take a big risk in not requesting any other information such as physical evidence that the debt is accurate, but not a lot of people take the time to dispute the information. They seldom have the time to get all of their ducks in a row, and they often get away with it.
So, what can you do to regain control on something that many people feel is completely out of their reach? What can you do to ensure that your credit does not fall through the very large gaps of the credit bureaus? Monitor your report at least every 6 months. Learn to read your credit report and how to identify incorrect information. Invest the time to analyze and hold the credit bureaus accountable for what they are reporting. Remember, you may be just another number to them, but their errors are costing you high interest rates, denied credit and can seriously get in the way of big life plans. In short, you snooze, you lose, and you lose big!
A Helpful Tip from:
Credit 360 Consulting
1306 E. 7th Street
Austin, TX 78702
If you want to know more about Credit Repair Services Austin, visit Credit 360 Consulting for a FREE consultation.