What if a creditor reports inaccurate account information?

Credit reports provide insight into how someone manages their finances and maintains their standard of living. Outside parties ranging from landlords to employers may perform credit checks when deciding whether they want to offer an opportunity to an individual.

Those who are typically responsible with their finances may not even bat an eye when they check a box on an application or digital form giving permission for a business to perform a background check that includes the review of their credit report. People often assume that their credit score is solid and that they don’t have any accounts in bad standing that could hold them back from opportunities.

However, sometimes unexpected blemishes turn up on a credit report. An employer might refuse to promote someone, a landlord might deny someone housing or a lender might offer poor mortgage terms because of unexpected information that shows up on a credit report. What options does an individual have if a lender or creditor reports inaccurate information to the credit bureaus?

Seeking the removal of those blemishes

Fair credit reporting rules give individuals the opportunity to check their credit reports at least once a year without cost to look for any serious errors. They can then notify the individual credit bureaus about inaccurate information and request updates to their credit reports.

The credit bureaus can remove outdated or inaccurate information when consumers prove that they have closed an account or paid off a balance reported as outstanding by a lender. Unfortunately, sometimes those trying to correct their credit reports face challenges because creditors or lenders insist that the inaccurate information should remain on the credit report.

Such scenarios may require the submission of certain financial documents to resolve. In some cases, consumers may even have the right to take legal action against companies for reporting inaccurate information. Reporting issues for longer than the law allows or knowingly reporting correct information could justify civil litigation in some cases.

Reviewing circumstances to determine if a violation of fair credit reporting rules has occurred can help people push for more accurate credit reporting after the loss of an opportunity. Those who know their rights, and have the right support, can limit the harm caused by inaccurate or outdated credit information.

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