What if the consumer doesn't understand how the process works? The consumers suffers unjustly! Just like the banks can work the system for their benefit, you can work the system to your benefit. The information here is about how to dispute alleged errors. The law says correct but negative information should stay on your report. But, it is completely legal to challenge anything on your credit report.
It does not cost you, the consumer, any money to dispute something. In fact, if the Credit Bureau doesn't follow the federally required procedure to process your claim, they can be liable for up to $1,000.
Here is how to process works.
- First, order a copy of your credit report. I prefer the printed version. That way you can read thru the entire report and make notes. You can highlight all the things that need to be fixed.
- Next, rank those items by priority. The ones that are doing the most damage should be disputed first. Here are some common items that negatively affect your credit: Foreclosure, Loan Default, Late Payments, Collections, Repossession, and Bankruptcy. (A Short Sale will show up on your credit as a Late Payment or "Settled for less than full amount." This is still much better for your credit rating than a foreclosure.)
- After that, you will want to dispute the items.</strong> Send all your disputes by certified mail. That way you have proof of when you sent the dispute. Then, you wait for the dispute process to be completed.