Improving your credit profile to lenders is a matter of managing your finances responsibly and making sure there are no errors in your Experian credit report. While missed payments on a loan will be listed in your report, you’ll want to make sure that any negative information found there is actually yours. Even though these reports are highly accurate, mistakes can happen and having these errors removed quickly takes a little time and attention on your part.
Know What You Need To Fix
Repairing errors in your Experian credit report is a simple process and knowing what needs fixing is the first step to better credit. Before you can actually have an impact on these errors, you’ll need to request a current copy of your report for review. You are entitled to one free copy every 12 months and can make this request online. You can also call their toll-free number or request the report in writing.
Once you have the report, set aside some time for a comprehensive review of the results. The data will be broken out into sections that provide details on all of your loans and financing along with the payment history. Be sure to look for any negative information listed in the report as this is where you’ll want to focus your efforts. Once you have reviewed the document, the repair process can begin and you’ll quickly be on your way to a higher credit rating.
The Process for Corrections
Correcting any errors you find in your Experian credit report is a simple process of filing a dispute online. You fill out the form with any details you can provide about the item in question and submit the request to Experian for correction. You will receive a case number as the last step in the dispute process that you can use to track the progress of the case.
Once this dispute is filed, Experian will contact the lender to have the information verified as accurate. If the lender can do this quickly, and is accurate, the item will remain on your report and you will be notified of the results. Since the lenders have a very short amount of time to provide this verification, the item will be removed if they fail to verify it in time. This is why it is critical to challenge any information you find in your report that you think may be incorrect. Often times the records for older accounts are hard to retrieve and the item may be removed simply because a lender couldn’t respond quickly enough to the dispute.
While you can certainly file a collection of disputes at the same time to have any errors you find corrected, it’s better to take them one at a time. By spending time reviewing and correcting each error individually you’ll waste less time and take some of the confusion out of the process as well.
Keeping good records can also help streamline the process. You should start a file for every dispute you submit as there may be a lot of back and forth communications needed to resolve the issue. By keeping good records you can cut down on the confusion and get the errors corrected quickly. Remember that the faster you get these errors fixed, the sooner your score will improve to eventually lower your interest rate.
Make A Deal with Your Lenders
If you have filed disputes for all of the negative information found in your report but still have a few items hurting your credit, talk with your lenders to see if they can help you eliminate this data. In cases where an account was closed, you may be able to have them modify the wording to make it clear that it was closed by the borrower. This slight change in tone can have a huge impact with other lenders reviewing your report in the future. If the account is listed as if it was closed by the creditor it looks worse for you. Sometimes you may have actually closed the account in good faith as part of shrinking your outstanding credit and it was mislabeled. Having a conversation with your lenders can help clear up these types of issues quickly.
Tell Your Side of the Story
One final thing you can do to improve your Experian credit report is adding comments to any outstanding negative data in the report you can’t eliminate through a dispute. The company allows you to add a general comment as part of the report to explain to future lenders the circumstances for any delinquencies listed. This can be a powerful way of getting your side of the story told and may help them decide in your favor when considering a new loan.