Is there anything good about bad credit? Can bad credit help a person in any way? I think it’s safe to say that we all agree the answer is no – bad credit is simply bad. Bad credit on a credit report is analogous to rust on a car, only worse, the car can be traded in, while bad credit, if left to remain, corrodes a credit report for seven years. Fortunately, in the case of erroneous bad credit, the Broken Credit Blog has an antioxidant, so grab your scouring pad. It’s important we discuss removing this bad credit right away before a credit report needs a more serious repair (we’ll save Bondo as a subject for a future article).
Erroneous bad credit comes in many shapes and sizes, but arguably the most disturbing and painful form is that of Identity Theft. Equifax, Experian and Trans Union have policies and procedures in place to block the reporting of any items attributable to Identity Theft. These procedures involve your request for a Fraud Alert and completion of an Identity Theft Report and ID Theft Affidavit. You can read more about these requirements at “Removing Bad Credit Resulting From Identity Theft”. It is important to note that the CRA’s procedures are designed to protect you from this adverse reporting, but it clearly requires action on your part. With scouring pad and antioxidant in hand, if you are the victim of ID Theft then don’t just sit there – start scrubbing.
Another erroneous bad credit scenario, an unwelcome negative tradeline can raise its rusty head, and at times take the shape of a mixed file. A mixed file results when someone else’s credit data merges into your credit report. A previous article described the CRA’s algorithm and factors involved in the mixing of two credit reports into one. You can read about the causes and remediation in “Mixed Credit Reports”.
Collections, collections, collections, otherwise known as reddish-yellow hydrated ferric oxides formed on a credit report. Nothing can crumble a credit score quite like collections. There have been a number of articles on this website devoted to this subject. The most encouraging are the ones that culminate in a letter from the collection agency requesting the removal of the collection.
Don’t despair then if you should happen to be the victim of Identity Theft or erroneous reporting, there is a way to rectify this. Once the error or misrepresentation is discovered, immediately inform the credit bureau and/or furnisher. Such action will result in the restoration of your credit to its original luster as well as the reclaim of your own peace of mind.