When it comes to your credit, one of the best things you can do is check your report for errors, and then fix mistakes. Getting rid of some of your credit report errors can provide you with a way to increase your credit score.
But what are some of these errors? And why do they impact your credit score?
One of the issues I have been dealing with for years is the inclusion of duplicate accounts on my credit report. Every time I check my credit report, there seems to be an issue. This time, as I began the process of applying to refinance my home, the duplicate account was my mortgage.
That’s right. It looks like I have two home loans, totaling more than $300,000 in mortgage debt. Another issue, that I am constantly trying to get fixed on the credit report, is the fact that we either have duplicates of student loans listed, or the consolidation hasn’t been recognized as such, and loans that are paid off through the consolidation show up on the credit report on top of the consolidation loan.
As a result, when figuring out my monthly debt payments, it looks like I spend more than $5,000 a month on debt payments, when that’s not the case at all. I spent half an hour on the phone with the loan officer, and then it was time to, once again, dispute the information in my credit report.
These duplicate accounts make it look as though you have more debt than you actually do. As a result you end up missing out on the best terms, and your credit score can be impacted, since it looks as though you are drowning in debt.
Inaccurate Information about Payments
Sometimes, inaccurate information about payment on your account is reported. Since payment history is the most important part of your credit score, inaccurate payment information can be devastating. If you are reported as missing payments, it can drop your score quite a bit. Additionally, having something marked as late, or partial, when you paid on time and in full, can be a problem.
You also want the account to reflect the situation accurately. If you close a credit account, you want to make sure that it shows up as closed by the customer, and not by the creditor. Your credit score is more positive when you close your credit account, after paying as agreed, rather than having your creditor close the account, or having it look like a charge off.
Of course, the other issue you have is that you could be looking at information that’s inaccurate because it’s fraudulent. This is one of the most important reasons to check your credit report on a regular basis. If someone has opened accounts in your name, and isn’t paying on them, it looks as though you are irresponsible with your money. Additionally, the debt load can drag on your credit score and make it harder to get approved for loans. When faced with a fraudulent account, you need to take care of it immediately.
Check your credit report, using annualcreditreport.com, regularly for information about where you stand with your credit.