If there is an error on your credit report, it can have a negative effect on your financial future. This is why it is essential to check for credit inaccuracies and have them fixed. If you see an error on your credit report, it could be due to a creditor or a credit reporting agency failing to update your information. You can begin a credit dispute with the credit reporting agency, which can either correct the mistake or investigate it further. It is a wise idea to work with a credit lawyer in Fairfax during this process, as it can be time-consuming and complicated. In some cases, you may end up having to file a lawsuit in order to get your credit report fixed. Check out this infographic from the credit lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano to learn more about getting your credit report updated. Please share with your friends and family.
Your credit report rights include the right to dispute erroneous information in your credit reports. Unfortunately, it is not likely that the problem will be corrected in a timely manner and quite often, erroneous information is not corrected at all. This is why so many consumers turn to a credit lawyer for guidance. At a consumer credit law firm near Fairfax, a credit lawyer can explain why the results of the furnisher investigation may not necessarily be accurate.
The furnisher is any entity who supplies information to a credit reporting agency, such as Experian. When a credit reporting agency notifies a furnisher that its information is being disputed, the furnisher is required by law to conduct a reasonable investigation. Unfortunately, furnishers can consider a reasonable investigation to be one that can take as few as 60 seconds. Furnishers then submit electronic responses to the credit reporting agencies. Even when the investigation takes longer than one minute, it is unlikely to result in a favorable outcome for the consumer, since some furnishers do not allocate sufficient resources or training initiatives for the purpose of conducting investigations.
Your credit is critical for your personal financial health, yet many people still believe common misconceptions about credit scores and credit reporting. Unless you have recently visited a consumer credit law firm in Fairfax to discuss identity theft or inaccurate credit reporting with a credit lawyer, then it may be time to learn a little more about credit reporting.
Myths About Credit Inquiries
It is commonly thought that any type of credit inquiry will adversely affect a person’s credit score. In fact, there is no impact on a person’s credit history when he or she checks his or her own credit. This is a type of “soft inquiry.” A credit report lawyer at a consumer credit law firm is likely to recommend that you check your credit reports frequently for signs of identity theft and erroneous information, since these two issues can indeed have a negative impact on your credit. On the other hand, when you apply for a loan or other line of credit, this is known as a “hard inquiry” and it can affect your credit score. The effect can be negligible. You can shop around for similar type loans by applying for credit multiple times within a period of a few weeks for the same types of credit. However, many different applications for many different types of credit may adversely affect your credit score. Some scoring models recognize these as similar applications (like a car loan) and treat them as one inquiry, but others may not.
Myths About Delinquent Accounts
Another common myth about credit reporting is that negative information is automatically removed from a person’s credit history once that account has been paid in full. In fact, paying off a delinquent account should mean that the account will be listed as “paid.” However, it will remain on the credit history for a set period of time. Collections accounts, for instance, typically remain on a person’s credit history for seven years. If you have paid or settled a collection item, you will have an inaccurate credit report if the account is not actually marked as paid or settled on your credit report. If you do not pay the account in full and the creditor agrees to settle the debt for a lesser amount that will negatively affect your credit score as well.
Myths About Closing Accounts
If you have old credit cards and similar accounts, you might think that closing those accounts would help boost your credit score. Actually, doing this could very well reduce your credit score significantly. This is because one factor that goes into calculating your credit score is the amount of debt you carry relative to your available credit. In other words, if you have two credit cards, each with a $3,000 limit and you close one of them, you will reduce your available credit limit by $3,000 or 50 percent, which could affect your credit utilization ratio.
If you have ever struggled to repay a creditor, you are not alone. It can be tough to understand how to get your credit score back up to a healthy level without the advice of a credit lawyer in Ashburn, especially if you have habitual credit report problems. Fortunately, as an experienced debt attorney will tell you, the law is on your side.
The first step to dealing with long-term credit problems is understanding your rights. Federal, state, and local laws protect consumers from harassment and deceptive lending practices. That means debt collectors are required to stop calling when you ask. In addition, there are steps that you can take to manage your debt and repair your credit. If you find that there are mistakes on your credit report, a credit report attorney can work with the credit reporting agencies to remove them from your credit report through a credit dispute process.
In a world where more and more financial transactions are conducted online, identity theft is an ever-present danger. If you are like most Americans, you may not fully understand how identity theft works—or how it can throw your life off track. However, if someone manages to steal your identity, an identity theft attorney near Ashburn can help you repair your credit and restore order to your everyday life. Continue reading for a look at why identity theft can be so dangerous.
One of the major reasons identity theft is so dangerous is that a consumer’s identity can now be stolen in more and more ways. While the most prevalent form of credit-destroying identity theft was once simply stealing personal financial information out of consumers’ mailboxes, thieves are now adept at gaining access to credit card information through ATM skimming and computer hacking. Your credit report lawyer can help you identify ways that your identity is at risk.
Taking over someone’s identity can involve more than just accessing his or her finances. Medical identity theft allows a criminal to access your health insurance and obtain prescriptions in your name—and for ailments, you may or may not have. Unfortunately, competing prescriptions may not be filled by pharmacists, meaning that it may be impossible for you to obtain the medication you need. Therefore, it is essential to contact an identity theft attorney if you suspect that your personal information is being used by another person.
Identity theft can leave exhausted consumers waging too many battles at once. For example, one victim of identity theft discovered that her identity had been stolen by an illegal immigrant, who used her personal identifying information to unlawfully gain employment. The victim and her attorney had to begin fraud claims with both the IRS and the Social Security Administration. Moreover, the thief also obtained a driver’s license—and earned two DUIs. The victim then had to contend with a criminal record and numerous traffic tickets. Your identity theft lawyer can help you contend with these types of issues.
Becoming an identity theft victim is more than a nuisance; it can result in thousands of dollars in debt accrued under your name, a scarred credit history, and future mortgage loan denials. For this reason, you should immediately contact an identity theft attorney in Leesburg about reporting the incident to the proper institutions and securing your accounts. One way to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft is by learning how to recognize the most common techniques used in identity theft schemes.
Mail theft is a non-technological identity theft technique, as it merely involves a thief removing sensitive information from your mailbox. Through mail theft, someone else can obtain information about you from credit card bills, bank statements and other personal materials that can be used to assume your identity. Sometimes, a thief can even re-route your mail without your knowledge by simply asking for a change of address from the post office. If this happens, you might not even discover you are a victim until you eventually encounter a credit report dispute.
Credit card theft
As an identity theft lawyer, credit card fraud is an element in identity fraud crimes. Thieves can use the information on your credit card to perpetrate other identity theft crimes. For example, a thief can use your signature on the back of the card, loan your card to others, or open new cards and bank accounts in your name. A credit attorney can advise you on how to secure your card, such as signing the back and writing CID to require merchants to ask for other forms of identification.
As technology evolves, identity thieves have found new ways to target your personal information. For example, a thief can use a device to read your credit card information from the magnetic strip on the back. This means a thief can obtain your credit card number without even touching the card itself. If you suspect your credit card number is stolen, contact your bank and an identity theft lawyer to avoid any unauthorized purchases or bank accounts opened in your name from harming your credit file.