Is it a simple mistake or a costly error?

There are different kinds of credit report blunders -- information that's outright inaccurate, and mistakes that reflect the errors of your ways. Common reporting errors (the not-your-fault stuff) can include accounts mistakenly attributed to you, application notices that you didn't fill out, and out-of-date home address or employment information. Errors can also include omissions, such as the presence of a delinquency that you've already remedied, or an old collection action that is still being reported as overdue.

When utilizing such inaccuracies can be updated or removed from your record relatively quickly. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus are required to investigate your claim within 30 days. If it determines that an error has been made, it must correct the error and notify the other credit bureaus and provide you the consumer with a new credit report. State laws may vary.

Another form of derogatory credit can be as a result of something you the consumer have created. Keep in mind that the information that is being reported about you must be not only valid; it must be accurate as well. This situation quite often may accompany human error. Information input by the credit reporting agencies are generally put in there by data entry employees not credit experts. These data entry workers are given only a limited time to work on your file before another file pops up. This data entry is not generally properly validated.

As for handling inaccurate information in your credit file, the best way to approach the cleanup process is to start with the source. In most instances, it's listed right there on your credit report.

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