Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Dealing With a Credit Report Blemish

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Dear Motley Fool, 

I am in the process of cleaning up my credit report. For over three years now, I have had a spot-free record of timely payments to my creditors. I have also addressed discrepancies on my credit reports. Still, there is one unresolved issue -- one piece of information reported by one credit bureau differs from that reported by the other two major bureaus. This was an instance where a debt was charged off and the other two report it as being bought by another lender and paid.

I asked the one credit-reporting agency to correct their records (as the loan was indeed bought by another lender and paid in full), but the bureau has failed to make the change, saying that the information they got from the creditor was up-to-date.

Do I have any other options other than asking the credit-reporting agency to add a statement of my own to my credit report? – Dinged by one minor detail

Dear Dinged,

What we have here is a failure to communicate. It appears that everyone got the memo about your debt payoff except one credit bureau.

Now it's your job -- sorry! -- to track down where the signal was broken. That's because in matters of credit-reporting accuracy, the onus is on the individual consumer to make sure things are right.

 While the credit-reporting agency will conduct an investigation into a dispute, it may not be able to confirm the accuracy of the information it receives from the creditor. So, if the information is just plain wrong, then your report will reflect the same error.

So get ready to roll up your shirtsleeves and fix the boo-boos.

Your best course of action is to contact the reporting lender directly, with your credit reports and proof of the loan payment in hand. Lenders do not always consistently report to each credit bureau, so perhaps this is an overdue reporting error.

Regardless of the reason, you'll need to have the lender report the new and corrected information directly to the credit reporting agency that has it wrong.

You can also have a note put in your credit file if the matter isn't handled in the way you want it to be. But be aware that such notations are rarely viewed in the impersonal credit-granting process unless an actual human being is vetting your credit.

Hopefully, with a bit of patience and elbow grease, the matter will be resolved.

A word to the rest of you
If you haven't reviewed your credit history in a while, now's as good a time as any. You should check your record with all three bureaus at least once a year-- and most definitely before undertaking any major financial move. Depending on whom you believe, anywhere from one half of one percent to up to 33% of credit files contain errors. The truth is probably somewhere in between. (And some of those errors may be in your favor.)

Go to to get your free reports. And, no, you don't have to sign up for any other services to qualify for your freebie. is the official site built to comply with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) and is the only service authorized by all three credit reporting agencies to deliver this service.

For more on making your credit look spiffy:

Dayana Yochim spit-shines her credit whenever she gets the chance. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 850434, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 6:02:34 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 20 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes