Knowing how to repair your credit when your file has been wrongfully altered can make the difference between getting the loans you need to get to the next level in life, or you being held back from the life of your dreams – and all with no wrong being done on your part. The good news is that if this has happened to you, then you could be entitled to potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in damages (one Oregon woman won $18.6 million from Equifax for a credit report mixup… more on that later).
Here’s what happens far too often with credit reports these days…
For thousands of Americans, managing their credit rating is of great importance. They make the required payments on all of their accounts on time and behave as responsible borrowers, in the belief that these tactic will keep their credit scores high so that they can borrow money when they really need to make a large purchase.
However, if a consumer’s file get mixed up with another person’s file, and that other person has had credit problems, the consumer will encounter big problems with their ability to borrow when the need arises. If your name is Sara Johnson and you have excellent credit, but then another Sara Johnson from a different state has terrible credit, and your files get mixed up, then the “good borrower” Sara Johnson will suffer from an inability to borrow the money she may need in times of crisis or in times of opportunity.
Here’s a real life example…
An Oregon woman was denied her request for credit from her local bank due to her credit report. Apparently, her reports had false identifying information, the wrong Social Security number, and false derogatory information about her. She contacted Equifax on numerous occasions to fix it, but never got a satisfactory action to fix her account. The worst part – Equifax wasn’t even handling the issue themselves. As soon as there was an error, they would outsource the problem to a company in the Philippines! She tried every recourse available, but eventually had to sue to get her report fixed. Her verdict? $18.6 million dollars.
So what can you do to repair your credit when your file gets mixed with someone else’s, or merged with another person who has a more troubling credit history? How can you make yourself eligible for the kind of judgment that the woman from Oregon got? And how can you avoid the embarrassment of debt collection for debts that you actually didn’t accrue?
The first step is to obtain a copy of your credit report. You’ll want to skip the online services that offer “free credit reports”, because it is all too easy to get lured into an offering for other services that will result in a monthly bill to your credit card.
There’s another, more pertinent reason to avoid these services too, which is that sometimes when you sign up online you accept terms and conditions that would lead to submitting claims against the credit reporting agencies to arbitration. You don’t want that, because that can severely limit your ability to access the damages you deserve if you do find the need to pursue action in court. Instead, the first step on how to repair your credit is to request your credit report the old fashioned way – through the mail.
To learn about what other action you must take to protect yourself, please contact me, Bob Healey, at (314) 401-3261. Or, click here to contact me via email.