As we are continuing our Take Back Your Finances Challenge, we have made it to week #25, almost half way! The past few weeks, we’ve been focusing on cleaning up your credit report to set the stage for better credit report and scores – which is important, even for the debt-free. We hope that one of your goals is to be debt-free and that this challenge will help get you on the debt-free path, propel you down the debt-free path and improve overall financial situation.
Well, we have now come to the part of the challenge where we are going to share with you what you need to do to resolve a credit report dispute.
First, before we go to this step, you need to complete the prerequisites to this step:
- How to get your credit report for free
- Identify the errors on the credit report (free printable checklist included)
If you have completed those easy prerequisites, then you are ready for this step…that is actually making a dispute or attempt to fix reporting errors (that could be damaging your credit like it is for 40 million Americans).
Honestly, the best resource is going to be the Federal Government themselves. They lay it all out and make it easy, including a sample dispute letter. It is an easy 2-step process and you can find the information on the FTC website here.
However, even easier may be just going right to the website of the credit reporting agency that shows the discrepancy. These agencies are Transunion, Equifax and Experian. The errors could be found on all of them or just one of them. There are many reasons for this, but essentially all three agencies are separate and each collect and report their own information. Here’s an article on why the credit scores and reports can be so different between them all.
Going back to making disputes, we mentioned that even easier might be just going to the website for the credit reporting agency and following their steps for their credit report. In this day and age, it is very easy, as you can submit disputes and requests online instead of the old snail mail way. BUT… even with the online shortcut making it easier, more accessible and perhaps slightly faster….it is still going to take a LONG time – several months in fact. But don’t let this discourage you as taking back your finances is a process! And that’s ok! The goal is to make some great progress and so taking the steps to dispute your credit report discrepancies is a good step, even if you don’t see fruits from it for a while. One of our goals is to encourage debt-free living, but remember that there are 7 Reasons Why Having Good Credit Is Important….Even For The Debt-Free.
Grab your free printable checklist from last week’s step and then log on to these credit reporting agencies and follow the online steps to dispute the issue, following your checklist to keep track of the disputes and the progress made.
Once you have submitted, you will want to track your progress and follow-up if needed. You can use the checklist, or other method, but just try to keep it organized so that you can truly know the progress, not forget and to follow-through to the end.
Need to catch up? Come join us on this challenge from the very beginning by clicking on the 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge and sign up to start receiving your automated challenge from the very beginning!
One final thing…we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!
Disclaimer: We are not licensed financial planners. We are only a couple that have been just a hair-breadth away from bankruptcy and found our way out of debt with a goal to now help others. Please make sure to consider any advice given on our site and in this challenge as tips we have used ourselves; they may not work for everyone. If you have questions please make sure to contact a licensed professional.