Months before going to apply for an auto loan, you should check your credit report. You most likely already know where you stand. If you’re used to getting collection call and blowing off debts you most likely have bad credit. But if you always pay everything on time you most likely have great credit. If you’re just not sure, then you probably still have good credit.
It’s important to check your credit report months before you apply for an auto loan because it gives you time to correct any mistakes on it It also gives you time to pay off a debt or two to make your credit score rise up a bit. A score just a few points higher can result in a lower interest rate and thus lower payments for the life of your loan. Here is what you should do if you spot errors on your credit report.
Check your report
Never assume that the information on your credit report is correct. Everyone is prone to make mistakes. Take advantage of your right to a free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free look-up of your report every twelve months. While you cannot get your credit score for free, you don’t need it if you’re just checking for inaccuracies.
Tell the credit reporting agencies
If you notice an error on your report you should act immediately. These things take time to remove so the sooner you act the better. You should write a credit report dispute letter to the major bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Provide proof that the debt listed has already been paid and an explanation of why the information listed is inaccurate. The credit reporting agency then has 30 days to research it. Once a change has been made in your favor they will provide you with a new report showing that the error has been fixed.
Tell the creditor
The company who erroneously reported you as still owing them also needs to be contacted. Provide them proof of the error a well. They need to update their records so they don’t continue to try and collect from you. By disputing credit report errors your credit score could bounce up a substantial amount of points, so be sure to check your report before going to apply for an auto loan.