Not many will argue the importance of the credit score. It is the grading scale that affects everything from your mortgage payment to your insurance premium. Potential employers will often refer to it as a measure of your character. Your credit score is the mathematical formula that companies and even your employer use to quantify their ability to trust you. It can set boundaries around your financial effectiveness in life. It is a number worth protecting. One way to do this is to make sure that all the information that affects your credit score is up to date and accurate.
Should you discover any mistakes, such as an expired debt, then you can legally sue for damages. You cannot sue the erroneous creditor directly. However, you can sue the credit bureau (Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax) issuing the report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This vital act was signed in 1970 as an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act passed just two years before. Its purpose is to regulate how information is collected, how that information is interpreted, and how it is ultimately used by inquiring institutions. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Protection Bureau hold jurisdiction over its enforcement. This law can protect you if you feel that your credit score is based on faulty information.
Credit bureaus can and should be sued if they fail to investigate and eliminate all invalid items from your credit report. After all, your credit score could potentially cost you thousands in interest payments on a home, car loan, and more! This is enough to bring a creditor to court alone. You can also call to court the existence of any expired debts, such as an eleven year-old bankruptcy or a debt that you have not paid on in seven years. Outdated debts can be, and should be, legally removed from your credit history (Debt Inversions).
Know that only those with legitimate cause – landlords, employers, creditors, and such – can be issued credit reports. Employers and landlords need the consumer’s permission to get access to one. You never should feel pressured to hand out your credit report. Just remember, your credit score is a vital piece of your financial identity in that it can affect where you live, how you live, and the amount of trust allocated to you. With a piece of your identity that important, it must be protected as one would a social security card. Giving your credit score out to spam ridden websites that claim to rid you of financial trouble is just asking for trouble.
Another imperative portion of the Fair Credit Reporting Act is that if you should have an issue with understanding the information on your credit report, then the credit bureau is required to assist you as well, thankfully. This, in theory, will bring those in the dark about financial literacy and credit into the light to better situations. Luckily, there are also great resources online to assist you in deciphering what your credit score really means. The Power Is Now is your online resource for ensuring that you are financially literate and knowledgeable enough to make an informed decision and an informed action about your credit score.
Your credit score determines a great many aspects of your life and the lives of your family. A bad score can be in many ways debilitating. Protect it. It is wise to make sure that all the information it contains is true and accurate. If it is not, then dispute it immediately. If no changes are made, and you can prove your case with evidence, then you can move it to the courtroom and let the lawyers handle it. You may not be able to sue the creditor directly, but you have consumer rights that are protected by law. The law is tricky, as laws tend to be, so make sure you take the correct steps to ensure your success. We at The Power Is Now are on your side to ensure that you know the ropes before you jump in. So check your credit score now to make sure that the number reflects your finances, assets, and debt. If you have a fairly good rapport with paying off your debts and your credit score is exceedingly lower than you expected, then call the creditor immediately. You could be misidentified or simply have misinformation clouding your credit score.
The frightening part about misinformation is that you will not know about a faulty credit score until it hits you in the face when you are applying for a loan. Check your credit score for free right now at Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion to get your free credit score and ensure your future. Your power to get your credit in order is now!
Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA
President and CEO