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Financial Literacy - Credit scores
TAKE ACTION
Fixing errors on your credit reports
Take these steps to purge inaccuracies and old data from your credit report.
Credit scoring, demystified
Correcting credit reports

5 ways to dispute errors
When involving a lawyer, come armed with copy of your credit report from all three bureaus and any dispute letters and documents related to dispute. Bring your bankruptcy discharge if you have one. It often happens that things get re-reported in error after being removed and the statutes provides for damages. Substantial punitive damages have been awarded by juries recently.

Consider how you've been harmed. Have you been turned down for a mortgage or paid higher rates? Suffered emotional distress? Log the hours. 

"Often people come to see lawyer after first go around, but there is no real 'right time.' There are a lot of legal loopholes and ways to waive rights without really knowing about it," says Fishman. If you think you want to bring a lawsuit, seeing a lawyer as soon as possible is best. Lawyers know how to best formulate dispute letters and letters can be used against them in a lawsuit.

Myfaircredit.com has information on FCRA, attorneys who regularly handle this type of case and an archive.

5. Work with a reseller
The reseller option only comes into play if you are seeking a mortgage. Resellers don't work directly for consumers, but if you discover a mistake on your credit report, your mortgage broker may ask a reseller to expedite a fix rather than lose your business. In this case you have the right to dispute information to the reseller rather than going to each credit reporting agency. Resellers get things expedited through the system because of their relationship with the CRA.

With respect to mortgages, there is actually a credit score disclosure your broker is required to provide to you. You will get a score notice along with all other documents.

For your summaries of rights and information on your credit report, check out the information online at www.ftc.gov/credit.

-- Posted: June 18, 2007
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