6 Most Common Credit Report Questions
Your credit report doesn’t have to be a mystery. You should get your credit report regularly to help verify that all the information being reported is accurate as well as checking to see that all accounts on your report were actually opened by you. In this article we’re going to take a look at the 6 most common questions people have regarding their credit report.
#1: How Long Does Debt Collection Remain on my Credit Report
Like most things on your credit report, debt collection will remain for approximately seven years time. After seven years it becomes illegal for the credit bureaus to keep the record on your account. If you find a debt collection account on your credit report that isn’t yours you can dispute it with the credit bureau that is reporting the inaccuracy. You can also dispute a collection account that’s older than 7 years.
#2: How Long Before a Credit Bureau Responds to a Dispute
Once you’ve submitted a dispute to a credit bureau they have up to 45 days total to conduct an investigation. They only get 30 days but if you submit any additional information within that original 30 day window they will get another 15 days, or 45 days total. After the investigation has been conducted most credit bureaus will report back to you within 5 business days. The entire process could take up to 2 months so you have to be patient. Getting inaccuracies removed is always worth the effort and time it takes.
#3: Where Do I Send Disputes?
You actually have two options when it comes to creating disputes. You can take the problem up with the credit bureau that is reporting the inaccuracy on your credit report OR you can actually dispute the charge with the financial institution in question. If you wish to dispute the problem with the credit bureau directly you will need to create a dispute letter and mail it to the credit bureau. You can find the mailing addresses online as well as dispute letter templates to help get you started.
#4: What Can I Dispute?
You can dispute almost anything on your credit report as long as it is actually inaccurate. You can dispute addresses which you resides as well as current address. You can dispute any accounts you find on your credit report that don’t actually belong to you. You can also dispute any payments which have been recorded as late which were sent on time. During their investigation credit bureaus will contact the financial institution which has reported the inaccuracy to confirm whether or not the information is correct. If you dispute an account you know is yours, odds are you won’t win the dispute.
#5: Will My Spouse’s Information Appear on My Credit Report Also?
Most of the time only accounts that belong to you will appear on your credit report. The exception to this rule would be any joint accounts held by you and your spouse. Joint accounts are normally reported on anyone’s name who is on the account whether you are married or not. Also, if one spouse is authorized to use another account or co-signs on an account they will also receive entries on their credit report from those accounts.
#6: Do I Have to Pay a Charge-Off?
Just because an account has been charged-off doesn’t mean that it’s been forgotten about completely. Charging an account off allows a lender to take your loan as a loss and get a little bit of a break on their taxes. That doesn’t mean you aren’t still responsible to pay the original balance though. The lender can still attempt to collect the original amount owed through a collection agency or even through the courts.
#7: How Often Should I Check My Credit Report?
You should be checking your credit report at least once a year to make sure there are no inaccuracies. It’s also important for verifying that your identity hasn’t been stolen. It’s a good idea to check your credit report before making any major financial decision such as getting a mortgage or car loan. There are many places you can get your free credit report online.