Credit Review Counseling available at seven FamilyMeans locations
Mar 05, 2013
It’s up to consumers to understand their credit reports
FamilyMeans’ Consumer Credit Counseling Service provides Credit Report Review counseling in seven convenient locations
With tax season upon us this is a great time to review your credit report, and education is key to taking charge of your credit history. Consumers should take the lead in examining their credit reports, identifying potential errors and making sure action needed is taken immediately to resolve any issues.
According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) of which FamilyMeans’ Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) is a member, there has been recent news questioning the accuracy of credit reports and, since credit reports are the backbone of credit scores, consumers need to be in the know.
Below is helpful information provided by the NFCC to help consumers be informed:
- Do understand the purpose of a credit report. A credit report is a track record that reflects an individual’s borrowing history and contains information about places of residency, law suits, arrests and bankruptcies.
- Do review the credit report for accuracy. At www.AnnualCreditReport.com, consumers are allowed one free report every 12 months from each of the major bureaus.
- Do review the report often. Frequently reviewing the report allows action to be taken promptly if a problem is found, or if identity theft is suspected.
- Do understand your rights. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides consumers with protections around the accuracy and privacy of information in their credit file, and holds both the credit reporting company and the entity that provided the information responsible for investigating and acting upon a dispute. The FCRA requires a timely response, often within 45 days.
- Don’t think that all errors have an equal impact. Some mistakes on reports can have a negative impact on the credit score, while others are not material. Errors such as account inaccuracies and information that does not belong to you should be addressed immediately.
- Do add a statement explaining the circumstances. If an entry is disputed, but the consumer disagrees with the results of the investigation, he or she is allowed to add a 100 word or less Statement of Dispute to be included with each future credit report.
- Don’t expect negative information to be removed. If information is negative, but true, it needs to remain on the report – only time can remove it.
- Don’t use a credit repair company offering a quick fix. There is little a credit repair business can do for you that you can’t do for yourself, and do it for free.
FamilyMeans’ CCCS provides Credit Report Review counseling, which allows individuals to schedule a time with a credit counselor. The counselor will work to provide insight into the report and provide an explanation for the information it reveals.
FamilyMeans’ CCCS locations are in Stillwater, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Minnetonka and Rochester, Minn., and also Eau Claire and Hudson, Wis.
To learn more or schedule a Credit Report Review counseling session, contact FamilyMeans’ CCCS at (651) 789-4014 or (800) 780-2890.