How To Protect Your Credit Report
The accuracy and protection of the information the credit bureaus maintain on you and your consumer file can have a huge impact on your life. Many consumers discover the gravity only after they are denied a job or home loan or have their identity stolen.
At Wells Law Office in Chicago, Illinois, Attorney Amy Wells is dedicated to helping consumers protect their credit reports. She can assist you with untangling any kind of credit reporting issue you’ve encountered, including correcting inaccurate information and enforcing your rights.
Take These Steps
The credit bureaus are not government-run agencies. While federal law requires they take certain actions to safeguard your privacy and the accuracy of your information, they make up a for-profit, multibillion-dollar industry that makes money by selling your personal information.
Bottom line, it is up to you to keep an eye out for red flags that may signal your information is inaccurate or has been compromised. You can do this by taking the following actions:
- Check your credit reports with the three major credit bureaus at least once per year to ensure accuracy. Obtain a free copy of your credit report online, and learn more about how to interpret your credit report.
- If you have been turned down for credit or denied employment or insurance based on your credit standing, review your credit report to confirm it is accurate. Such a denial entitles you to an additional free copy of the consumer report(s) used to make the decision.
- Any time you are given a higher interest rate than you believe you deserve based on your credit history, send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested and ask for a written explanation stating why you were given unfavorable terms.
- Confirm that you do not have outdated or obsolete information on your credit report.
- If you are notified your personal information has been compromised (e.g., a creditor tells you that your information was part of a data breach), it may be prudent to place a security freeze on your credit file.
Signs Of Inaccurate Credit Reporting, Identity Theft And Other Red Flags
Talk to Ms. Wells if you’ve experienced any of the following red flags:
- Your credit report includes an account that does not belong to you
- Outdated information is being reported on your credit report (most information remains for seven years, with bankruptcy generally reporting for 10 years).
- A background check reports a criminal record or history that does not belong to you.
- Your credit report lists names, addresses or employment history that does not belong to you.
- Debt collectors are calling you regarding accounts that do not belong to you.
- You are notified that your information has been compromised (e.g., a creditor notifies you that their database containing your information has been hacked).
Steps To Take If You Believe You Have Inaccurate Information On Your Credit Report
If you encounter wrong or misleading information on your credit report, here is what to do:
- Maintain a complete record. Keep all copies of:
- All credit report(s), with notations of all inaccurate, incomplete or outdated information.
- Adverse actions. This includes all credit denial letters, employment turn-down letters or insurance denials based on inaccurate reporting.
- Evidence of interest rates that are higher than you would have been offered or paid had the false information not appeared on your credit report.
- Proof of proper payment if the account is yours, but the status is being falsely reported as late or in default.
- Any correspondence or notes related to communications to or from any credit bureau or creditor, employer or insurer related to the inaccurate information.
- Dispute the inaccurate information with the credit bureau(s) that is/are reporting it, and also the creditor(s) who is/are listed on the credit report. Attach copies of all the documents and send your dispute letters by certified mail with return receipt requested.
Ms. Wells can help you take all these steps and stand up for you against the credit bureaus. She has a wealth of experience successfully standing up to powerful financial institutions on behalf of consumers.
Talk To A Lawyer About Your Credit Report Today
For guidance on your credit reporting situation, call Wells Law Office at 773-352-8567 or send Ms. Wells an email. She has 17-plus years of experience standing up for the rights of consumers like you.