While perhaps obvious, the absolute worst time to learn about errors on your credit report(s) with Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion (or any other credit bureau) is when you apply for credit. Unfortunately, because far too few people regularly monitor their credit reports, it is precisely when credit is needed (financing a car, applying for a credit card, seeking a mortgage) that most consumers with errors on their credit reports find out the unwelcome news that they have bad credit. That bad news most often comes in what — to the consumer who is certain that he or she has strong credit — is a shocking and embarrassing denial of a credit application.
Credit report errors may provide lenders with a false notion that, among other things, you (a) do not pay your bills on time (sometimes that you don’t pay bills at all), (b) have far more debt than you really do (for instance, there may be a substantial mortgage account on your report that does not belong to you), (c) apply for credit too often, thereby indicating that you may be short of cash needed to pay your debts (such as when there are hard inquiries on your credit reports related to credit for which you did not apply), or even (d) have a bankruptcy in your past (when in reality you have never declared bankruptcy). Because of errors like these, which happen to millions of consumers every year, many individuals are denied credit for which they should absolutely be approved.
The moral? Obtain copies of your credit reports every few months (if not more often) from websites like annualcreditreport.com and myfico.com. If you find that one or more of your reports are inaccurate, reach out to Sherman & Ticchio. Our law firm helps consumers with these issues every single day.