Learn What’s Wrong With Your Credit Report

Learn What’s Wrong With Your Credit Report

A credit report contains information about your credit history and the status of your credit accounts. This information includes how often you make your payments on time, how much credit you have, how much credit you have available, how much credit you are using, and whether a debt collector is collecting on any debt you owe. Credit reports also can contain public records such as liens, judgments, and bankruptcies that provide insight into your financial status and obligations.

Lenders use these reports to help them decide if they will loan you money, what interest rates they will offer you, or to check the status of an existing loan. Companies can purchase these consumer credit reports to help inform them while making a wide range of business decisions such as providing or pricing insurance; renting you an apartment; and (if you agree to let them look at your consumer report) making employment decisions about you.

Credit reporting companies (also known as credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies) compile these reports.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) amongst other things gives consumers the ability to dispute information on a credit report that may be incorrect. In fact the information contained on your credit report must be correct and verifiable. The FCRA requires lenders to:

  • Tell you they denied your application(or took other adverse actions);
  • Provide you the numerical credit score it used in taking adverse action;
  • Give you the name, address, and telephone number of the credit reporting company that provided the report;
  • Tell you about your right to get a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting company that furnished it within 60 days of your adverse action notice; and
  • Explain the process for fixing mistakes or adding missing items to your report

If a lender rejects your loan application, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), requires it to tell you the specific reasons your application was rejected or tell you that you have the right to learn the reasons if you ask within 60 days.

Indefinite and vague reasons for denial are illegal. Acceptable reasons might include “too many recently opened accounts with balances” or “delinquent past or present credit obligations.” Unacceptable reasons include “you didn’t meet our minimum standards” or “you didn’t receive enough points on our credit scoring system.” Learn more about your rights under ECOA.

Credit discrimination is illegal. Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act a creditor cannot discriminate in any credit transaction, including mortgages, against any applicant because of these factors:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Sex (gender)
  • Marital status
  • Age, unless the applicant is not legally able to enter into a contract
  • Receipt of income from any public assistance program
  • Exercising in good faith a right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act

This means that a creditor may not use any of the above grounds as a reason to:

  • Refuse you credit if you qualify for it
  • Discourage you from applying for credit
  • Provide you credit on terms that are different from the terms given to someone else who is similarly situated to
  • you, such as having similar creditworthiness
  • Close your existing account

Credit Report (According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

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