Credit report inaccuracies can wreak havoc on your business’ credit score- and when they do the result can be disastrous. A business’ credit score is generally the deciding factor in the approval of most business loans and business financing. Moreover, prospective business partners, investors, and clients all may consider your business’ credit rating when deciding whether or not to enter into a transaction with you.
How can you reinstate your credit rating if you find errors? Here are some steps you can take to quickly contain and repair the damage:
- Ask for a copy of your credit report – If you think there are mistakes in your credit report, the obvious first step is get a copy of it. Ask for copies of your credit report from all three of the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). They may be receiving different reporting data from your creditors.
- Be aware of the way errors can be created – There are various ways that errors can appear in your credit report. Sometimes computer errors cause creditors to send inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. At other times an inaccurate security number can cause a mix-up in identities, with you getting someone else’s credit score. The third possibility is that you are the victim of identity theft.
- Carefully check your credit report – You can examine your credit report after ordering a free annual report from all three major credit bureaus. Check it carefully for errors. Make sure that credit information of other family members is not mixed up with yours. And be aware that information that is over 7 years old can be removed. If you find errors, make a list of them.
- Contact the credit bureau reporting the inaccuracy – Call the credit bureau and report the inaccuracy. You may also want to prepare a letter with your name and address, state the item in dispute and explain why it is inaccurate. Then request a correction. Be sure to enclose photocopies of documents supporting your position.
- Contact the creditor – If the mistake is still in dispute between you and the credit bureau, notify the creditor himself that you are disputing him. Send him copies of all the documents you already sent to the credit bureau. From this point on, the creditor is obligated to include a notice of your dispute every time it reports this information to a credit bureau.
- Consider contacting a lawyer – If your findings are serious, it may be advisable to seek legal assistance.