On Your Side: Credit report errors double due to COVID-19; Was your credit score hit?

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:26 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Consumer complaints against credit-reporting agencies have doubled during the pandemic.

Many lenders offer skip-a-payment or deferred options during the pandemic. That gesture is not supposed to negatively impact your credit score. Turns out, the computer systems of many companies recently counted those as late or missed payments.

If you accepted one of these offers, check your credit score.

“You can do that for free. On a weekly basis which is wonderful,” said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports. She says don’t wait until you apply for a loan. Know your credit score now.

Head to www.AnnualCreditReport.com

“Errors on credit reports can negatively effect a credit score. It could be minor, a couple of points or it could be major,” she said.

If there’s a problem here’s how to fix it.

-File a dispute with that credit bureau.

-Type up a formal letter with supporting documents. Make copies for yourself.

-Send it via registered mail.

“I know this sounds like overkill, but in the event your dispute does not resolve in something favorable for you, it’s the best way to set yourself up in case you need to sue one of the bureaus, which under the Fair Credit Reporting Act is your right,” said Gill.

Expect this to take time.

“The process for disputing any sort of errors you find in your credit report can take anywhere from thirty days to several months depending on the severity of the error. So budget in your mind this could be a long process,” said Gill.

Consider getting a credit monitoring service. Some are free. As always check reviews. Read the fine print, because you’ll give up some privacy for convenience.

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