1. Account balances you recently paid down oroff. If you’ve just finished paying a bill down oroff, you might not dispute the elevated balancethat remains on your credit report because it’snot actually an error, per se.But the whole point of payingthe balance down was to bringdown your credit utilization ratio,which is a heavily weighted factorin your overall credit score.
2.Incorrect former addresses. Of the 19 percent ofconsumers who spotted an error on their report inthe study, nearly 40 percent of those errors were inwhat the credit bureaus call “header data," thingslike the consumers previous street address. Manyelected not to dispute these sorts of line itemsbecause the error doesnt seem like it would impacttheir credit score. While an inaccurate addressmight not have much to do with your score, it canstill wave a red flag, signaling issues that can foul-upyour mortgage application.
3. Bills that were never yours in the first place. As withcompletely bizarre former addresses, accounts listed onyour credit report that you never opened in the first placecan be a red flag that tips you to the fact that someoneelse might have stolen your identity and opened a creditcard or account in your name. If you find one of theseitems on one credit bureau report, but it’s currentlyclosed or has a zero balance, you might be tempted to letit slide, thinking it can’t move the needle on your creditscore. In reality, though, if someone is using your identityto obtain credit and you fail to dispute that the billsbelong to you, they might continue to use it, which cancause you real problems. Of course, if the bills weren’tpaid on time or have been placed in collection, disputingthe accounts’ presence on your credit report is a must.
4.Limits listed as lower than they really are. As withclosed accounts that were never yours in the firstplace, accounts that are listed on your credit report ashaving limits that are lower than they really are mightseem like a battle not worth fighting. But the fact is thatonly two inputs go into the credit utilization ratio thatcomprises about 30 percent of your FICO score: howmuch credit you have available, and how much credit youhave used. So, if you have account balances that show upon your credit reports as lower than they actually are(i.e., that you have less credit available to use), thatinaccuracy can skew your credit score and screw up yourmortgage qualifying efforts. Big time.
5.Derogatory items that should have aged off. Veryfew of us are perfect, and you might have workedhard to pay your bills on time in an effort toovercome a credit ding from back in thedays. Although the impact a derogatory item hason your credit score wanes over time, it’s still yourright (and your responsibility) to make surenegative items disappear from your credit reportwhen they are supposed to – that’s 7 years for alate payment, 10 years for a bankruptcy. If you arestill seeing credit dings on your report after morethan the relevant time frame has elapsed, disputethem and claim the rehabbed credit (and score)you’ve since earned.
Randy BettInvestment Realtor/Author/InvestorReal Estate Professionals Inc.Better Group Real Estate202-5403 Crowchild Trail NWCalgary, AB T3B 4Z1Phone:403-774-7464 Ext:1Fax:403-208-0082Toll Free fax:888-711-6801