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If you are looking to buy a home, rent an apartment or start a new job, chances are someone will need to check your credit score. The information available through your credit history can prove to be the difference between getting what you want and being denied.

Considering how powerful your credit history can be, it is crucial that it be an accurate representation of you as a borrower. Unfortunately, your credit report may be telling a very different story than you think if it includes inaccurate or outdated information. If you are in this situation, you need to act fast and take steps to repair your credit history before it costs you the home or job of your dreams.

How to correct information on your credit report

If your credit report includes inaccurate information, the Federal Trade Commission recommends notifying the credit reporting company immediately and in writing, as it may be an indication that your identity has been stolen. This letter will be crucial to the outcome of your case, so it can be wise to draft it with the assistance and guidance of an experienced attorney.

The company must then investigate the claim and take the appropriate action. In some cases, you may not agree with the credit reporting company’s resolution. Should this happen, you may need to file a lawsuit citing failure to investigate your claim properly.

If your credit report includes outdated information, the situation can be a bit trickier. In some cases, your report will contain information like a bankruptcy filing, which you’d rather see disappear. Unfortunately, certain types of information stay on your report for several years. So even though you settled a debt, it can still appear on your history afterward. However, you should be aware that proposed legislation is looking to shorten these periods considerably.

If your credit report does not reflect positive information, like a mortgage in good standing, you will want to contact the party responsible for reporting the mortgage to the credit bureaus.

Making sure your credit report is updated and accurate can be crucial in protecting yourself financially. If yours contains errors, you will want to address them and have them resolved as soon as possible.