Knowing what's showing up on your credit reports is a good idea, especially if you're planning on getting an auto loan in the near future. Knowing what lenders are seeing isn't enough if you discover errors, though. Do you know how to properly dispute mistakes that may be dragging down your credit score?
Disputing Errors Takes Time, Money
There's a fairly straightforward process you can go through when it comes to disputing errors on your credit reports. You can easily dispute mistakes yourself on the credit bureau websites. However, to truly dispute an error and get it removed from your credit reports, you need to provide documented proof of the error, and the process can take a lot of time.
Each time you open a dispute into an account on your credit reports, the reporting credit bureau typically has up to 30 days to respond. This process can go on for months if you find multiple errors. If you don't have the time to spend fighting these battles yourself, you can also look into a credit repair company. These third-party services do all the legwork for you, for a fee.
It's up to you whether you spend time or money to get the credit repair results you're looking for.
Repairing Credit Errors Yourself
If you choose to fight the battle with creditors yourself, it can take a lot of work. Disputing errors starts with an online dispute form or a letter telling the credit bureau the item that you think is in error. There are many examples of standard dispute letters available online, and you must include copies of any documentation to support your claim.
Your form or letter should include a clear description of what you believe to be in error, as well as your complete contact information. It's recommended that letters be sent through certified mail, so that you can get notice when the credit bureau receives your dispute letter.
Once the reporting credit agency has your dispute, they typically are required to respond to you within 30 days. If the dispute was accepted and impacts your credit reports, the bureau is also required to send you a free copy of your amended credit report, and should alert the other credit reporting companies of the update.
These days you can also usually dispute errors through the credit bureaus ’dispute hotlines.
A Helping Hand From Credit Repair Companies
If you aren't excited about the prospect of filling out forms or writing letters to dispute any errors you find in your credit reports, you have the option of paying someone to do it for you. It doesn't take any less time, but all the legwork gets done by a professional at a credit repair company.
Credit repair companies take on the credit bureaus for you. Many of them work on a subscription basis, and their services can vary. However, one thing that’s universal is that credit repair companies can't demand payment before you see results.
Do You Need Credit Repair?
In order to know if you need to resort to removing errors from your credit reports, you first need to know what's on them. It's a good idea to keep up with what is showing on your credit reports, and to know your credit score.
You can easily request your credit reports by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Now through April 2021, you can do this with the three national credit bureaus for free once a week. After that, consumers are entitled to a complimentary report from each bureau once every 12 months.
Auto Loans Also Help Improve Credit
If you don't find any errors on your credit reports that need to be repaired, but your credit score still isn't the best, you can give it a boost by taking on a bad credit car loan.
An auto loan gives you the opportunity to make payments on a large loan for a long time, which goes a long way toward building a better credit score. Payment history is the biggest influence on your credit score, so making on-time payments on your bills is the best way to improve it.
Ready to Get a Car Loan?
If you want to start your credit repair journey with a car loan, Drivers Lane can help. We work with a large network of special finance dealerships all across the country that have the lenders available to assist bad credit borrowers.
Rather than looking all over town, let us point you in the right direction. Simply fill out our fast, free, and no-obligation auto loan request form and we'll get to work matching you to a local dealer.