A good credit score can make the difference in the amount of interest a person pays on a loan, whether or not he or she gets a job or is allowed to rent an apartment or home. It is important for consumers to take the trouble to manage their credit report.
Unfortunately, it is possible for incorrect information to appear on credit reports. This will damage the credit score just as much as correct information.
If a consumer believes there is incorrect information on his or her credit report, it is essential that they send a debt verification letter to the credit-reporting agency to have the error corrected.
If a consumer has disputed some information about a debt on their credit report and receives a letter from a credit bureau that the debt is verified as accurate, the consumer has the right according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to request the method of verification that the credit bureau used.
In response, the credit-reporting agency should provide the consumer with a description of its verification process not later than 15 days after receiving the debt verification letter.
The main reason this may be necessary is that the credit bureaus do not always do their job correctly. If the way it performed verification was not thorough or complete, they could come up with the wrong answer.
This will put incorrect information on the consumer’s credit report causing him or her to have difficulties getting a loan, apartment or job.
Credit Reporting Agency
Each credit-reporting agency (CRA) has a different system for credit disputes, but each system is similar. The entire investigation process is automated with online computer programs that are used by both the creditors and CRAs. Incorrect information can get on a credit report.
For example, a person may apply for a mortgage loan, and be told that the bank will give the loan if the consumer pays his or her back taxes of $5,000. The consumer knows that there are no back taxes owed, so he or she must get this mistake off the credit report.
This type of mistake can be declared verified by the credit-reporting agency. The consumer needs to request the method of verification and prove that the debt is false.
The following steps are considered the way forward if a consumer is faced with a false debt on his or her credit report:
- The listing should be challenged through the normal channels provided by the credit reporting agency
- If the false debt is verified, get a copy of the investigation and call the CRA
- Give the reference number and ask for the method of verification as per FCRA
- The consumer may be told that the verification process did not include a call to the original creditor, so he or she can ask for the number of the original creditor
- The consumer can call the original creditor and ask for the record
- If the creditor has the record, the consumer should get a copy and make sure it is valid
- If the records prove that the original creditor can’t back up the negative listing, the consumer should send a letter requesting a verification, and, if necessary, an intent to sue, if the account is not cleared
Below is a sample debt verification letter to a credit bureau. It is written as a formal business letter and has correct grammar and spelling.
It is recommended that the letter be sent by certified mail with a request for a return receipt. This will give the sender proof that the letter was received at a particular date and time.
Sample Debt Validation Letter To Credit Bureaus
City, State, Zip Code
Name Of Credit Bureau
Address Of Credit Bureau
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Debt verification for account number NUMBER
After reviewing my credit report, I have found inaccurate information listed as credit card debt.
This letter is a formal request for you to verify the information. It is my right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to ask for the name and address of the business that claims the debt.
According to my records, I have paid all of my debts as of DATE. I have enclosed copies of the invoice marked paid as well as the cancelled check that was used to pay the debt.
My request is for you either to verify the information or to remove the debt from my credit report.
I request that you comply with the law and give me the verification in writing within 15 working days of receiving this letter. It is important that I correct my credit report as soon as possible.
Thank you for your quick attention to this matter. I can be reached at Email Address or at Phone Number if you require any further information.
List of Enclosures: Copies of receipts and cancelled checks