I got an interesting two-part question from a reader the other day. I’m actually going to answer the second question first.
Is there any consumer helping agency that helps to correct what is on
credit agencies’ reports?
This is a good question. Yes, there are services that can help fix your report. They usually charge some sort of a service fee. But, as the Banks.com mortgage blog points out, it is also possible for you to make the corrections yourself in five steps. Here are the steps you can take to fix mistakes on your credit report:
- Gather the documentation that proves your case.
- Contact the credit reporting agency (or all three agencies if all have the same mistake). You can call, but you should also make the request in writing — and save yourself copies of the written request.
- Contact the creditor. Let the creditor know about the mistake and the steps you’re taking to correct it. Again, make this request both in writing and by phone.
- Follow up. Check after 30 days to make sure that the mistake has been fixed.
- Get an attorney. If you are in the right, it shouldn’t come to this. But just in case things don’t get resolved, you can hire an attorney to fix the problem. Alternately, you may turn to a consumer agency.
Part Two: Putting Bills on the Credit Card
The other part of the reader’s recent question had to do with whether or not using a credit card for bills would harm a credit rating.
As long as you pay off your credit card each month, and don’t carry a balance, this payment method shouldn’t be a problem. It’s when you regularly carry a high balance that it starts to ding your credit.
One concern with using your credit card to pay bills rests on the time of the month that your credit card company reports your balance. The timing of your credit company’s report could have an impact on your credit rating. If the company reports just before payment is received, it can look as though you are carrying a balance closer to the limit.
But as long as you pay your bills regularly, and as soon as possible, the effect on your credit score should be minimal.