So exactly what kinds of discrepancies should you be on the lookout for when you check your credit report?
Start by looking at the accounts. Verify that it was indeed you who opened these. Aside from your memory which will tell you that an account is indeed yours, a surefire way of checking is to look at the address and other personal information associated with that account. Address changes, erroneous social security numbers, different birth date, and misspellings of your name are clear signals that someone else is using your account or another person’s information got mixed up in your file.
Check for hard inquiries that are older than two years—they should not anymore appear there according to the Federal Statute of Limitations. Hard inquiries can damage your credit rating if you had more than two done in a span of six months. You should also check for inquiries that you did not authorize.
See to it that the balances and accounts are as they should be. If you are a diligent payer who ensures that all your bills are paid on time and there is a reflection on your report of a late payment, take note of it. You should also be on the alert for charge-offs that are more than seven years old and hence should not anymore appear in your report. If you had filed for bankruptcy before and you find debts that should have already been included in that bankruptcy filing (and hence not anymore your obligation to pay), you have an error to report.
You should also be on the alert for negative public information like bankruptcies, judgments, paid tax liens that are still unpaid and the like that are older than ten years . Again, according to the Federal Statute of Limitations, they should already be erased from your credit report.
More on Disputing Credit Report Errors :
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