When cleaning up your credit report, you’ll want to avoid doing anything that could get in the way of accomplishing the ultimate goal, which is to get erroneous information deleted from your credit report. This means you need to avoid inadvertently making costly mistakes.
Here are top 9 mistakes to avoid when you are in the process of challenging the contents of your credit report.
1. Do not provide any more information than is necessary.
There’s no need to provide any more information to the credit bureaus about the negative item. For example, if you owe $500 to XYZ company, do not acknowledge or make any reference to the actual amount that you owe. You simply need to let them know that the amount is not accurate.
2. Stay on top of your credit history.
Make it a habit of checking all three credit reports at least once every year so that you don’t miss any new items that might negatively impact your credit score.
3. Use different dispute reasons for the same account.
When you are disputing different items, never use the same dispute reason for the same account. Even if you are disputing an account multiple times, you need to ensure that each letter you send out has a different reason.
4. Do not use the electronic dispute system.
Avoid using the internet templates provided to file your claims with the credit reporting services as using them will increase the chances of your disputes being be denied as frivolous by the credit bureau. Online disputes often come with pre-selected choices for you to pick from to categorize your dispute. This can box you in to make a selection that may hinder the dispute process.
On the other hand, mailing your dispute offers you the opportunity fully to express the reasons why you think items on your credit report are inaccurate and enhances your ability to include proof to support your dispute.
5. Always send your dispute letters by certified mail.
Make sure you use a delivery return receipt all your correspondence with the credit bureau. You may need to take things further at some point in the future by filing a claim . To do so, you need the paper trail and verify that you definitely sent the claim.
6. If you have credit cards that you no longer need, do not close the account.
Your debt ratio will go up, and this might have an adverse impact on your credit score. You need to keep your debt ratio at around 15%. Keep all of your accounts open. Rather than closing any of the accounts, use the account for a small amount once a month and only pay for it in full when you get the statement.
7. Keep in mind that your payment history accounts for up to 35% of your credit score.
Your payment history is the biggest part of your credit score. Try to start paying your bills in full when they are due. If you can, be sure to setup automatic payments so that your payments are deducted from your account on a certain date every month. This will show that you’re a low-risk customer and that you know exactly how to manage your finances.
8. When you are rebuilding your credit, a secured credit card would be the perfect option for you.
A secured credit card requires a cash collateral deposit that becomes the credit line for that account. By using a secured credit card strategically, you can use it to build up your credit by making timely payments each month, and demonstrate a good payment history on your credit reports.
9. Accuracy is key.
Make sure that all of your personal details are correct, otherwise your dispute will be rejected. Also, ensure that each of the dispute letters has all that information. There should also be the creditors name, the account number, and account name you are disputing in each letter.