5.4.21

The importance of checking your credit report

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Close-up of man holding mobile phone checking a credit score monitor app.
Get your credit report

Within Consumers’ Online Banking, you can check your credit report every day for free!

Checking monthly, weekly or even daily won’t hurt your score through our feature. Simply log in for instant access to your credit score and report, along with personalized tips on how to improve your score or maintain an already great one.

Learn more

Find out how to check your credit report with all three bureaus and fix errors.

COVID-19 cases weren’t the only thing on the rise in 2020; complaints about credit reporting more than doubled compared to 2019. Many problems are due to reporting errors as millions of people received mortgage forbearance and deferrals for credit card payments during the pandemic. While forbearance and deferrals should not affect credit scores, some lenders erroneously reported late payments.

Mistakes on credit reports can be costly even if you’re not seeking a loan. Utilities, mobile carriers, cable companies and landlords sometimes use credit reports to determine how much to charge you or require for a deposit. Credit report errors could also cost you a job opportunity if an employer sees negative information.

How to check your credit report
Even if you didn’t get forbearance or deferrals, check your credit report. Sometimes files get mixed up and information goes on the wrong person’s report.

Get free credit reports from all three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—at annualcreditreport.com.

In Consumers Online Banking, we also have a free credit report feature that allows you to check your score daily if you wish. Our service pulls your credit profile from TransUnion and then uses a credit scoring model developed collaboratively by the three major credit bureaus. This model seeks to make score information more uniform between the three bureaus to provide you with a better picture of your credit health.

Fixing credit report errors

We wish we could share a quick fix but unfortunately, there isn’t one. However, here are steps to get started.

  1. Document everything you can relating to the error, including forbearance or deferral agreements, statements and payments.
  2. Contact the lender who made a report in error. Request a correction. Document your communications; note dates and who you spoke with or emailed.
  3. Contact each of the credit bureaus showing the error. Each bureau has its own process for correcting inaccurate information, but every Consumers Online Banking user can begin a dispute by clicking on the “Start a Dispute” button at the bottom of the credit report tab within their credit report feature.The Federal Trade Commission website also offers step-by-step instructions https://www.consumerscu.org/creditscoreon how to contact the bureaus and correct errors. Consumer Reports recommends avoiding online forms and handling the issue by creating a paper trail. Make copies of documents for yourself and send materials by certified mail if you go this route.

Usually, credit bureaus must respond to complaint within 30 to 45 days, but with the pandemic they’re taking longer.

Take control of your finances and improve your credit score

As a Consumers member, you have free access to credit counseling services. GreenPath financial management counselors can help you improve your credit score, budget, develop a plan for debt repayment, and avoid bankruptcy, foreclosure or repossession. To use this service, call 1-877-337-3399 or visit GreenPath online.

Consumers provides banking services for more than 100,000 members. If you have banking questions, call us at 800-991-2221. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want.

Federally insured by NCUA

Get your credit report

Within Consumers’ Online Banking, you can check your credit report every day for free!

Checking monthly, weekly or even daily won’t hurt your score through our feature. Simply log in for instant access to your credit score and report, along with personalized tips on how to improve your score or maintain an already great one.

Learn more

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