Call For Action: Contacting the Credit Agencies

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Jason Sell isn't just working for a living, he's working for a future. That means this Broadview Heights dad keeps one eye on his finances and the other on his credit score. That's because he knows the companies that do the reporting don't always get it right.

"I will check it periodically if I haven't made a purchase in a while," said Sell.

If you find mistaken information on your credit report and its dragging down your credit score you need to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies in writing so you'll have proof of your efforts.

"You can do this yourself, absolutely," says Sue McConnell of the Better Business Bureau.

McConnell adds that there's no need to pay a company to do what you can do free of charge.

"There were just so many abuses by these companies taking advantage of people who were in desperate financial situations," said McConnell.

McConnell says tell the agency which information you're disputing and why. Include your credit report with the letter and circle the item you believe is inaccurate, then ask that it be removed from your report.

Do include copies of any information that proves your point and request an investigation.

Getting the mistake off your credit report can make a big difference in your credit score, especially if those few points pushes you into a higher tier of credit.

"Obviously if you have great credit than you're going to have the lower interest rates and that's definitely important," said Sell.

Negative information that's true can stay on your report for up to seven years, bankruptcies can last for 10.

So take a cue from Jason and don't just work for a living, work for your future.