America is slowly digging itself out from the worst health and economic crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic. For some of us, the economic downturn couldn’t have happened at a worse time and the struggle is real. The red danger light is going off and our credit score has taken a deep hit – for others, we walked away with a few unsightly dings that, fortunately, we bounced back from and we’re able to pick up where we left off. But if you fall into a third category, a mysterious COVID-19 related ding on your credit report that’s clearly an error and is giving you more grief than a known discrepancy — You’re not alone.
Is Help is On the Way? Congress Passed the CARES Act
The good news is Congress has provided relief for some Americans. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed in March 2020, gave legal protection to consumers by providing loan forbearance periods on federal student loans and federally-backed mortgages. The first step when faced with financial difficulties, it’s important to reach out to your lender or creditor. Many lenders and creditors have announced proactive measures to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19 and may have credit reporting programs that may apply to your situation. Many creditors have “hardship” or “relief” programs.
But what if the COVID-19 reporting is in error — what then? If your credit reports are not accurate or don’t reflect any agreements made with your lenders, there are options to dispute incorrect reporting. If you find inaccurate information on your credit reports, you should take steps to immediately correct the inaccuracy.
Check Your Credit Report for Errors!
An error on your credit reports could lead to lower credit scores and negatively impact your life. Once you’ve identified an error on your credit reports, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you 1) contact the credit bureaus that produced the reports with the error 2) find out from the three major credit bureaus the steps necessary to dispute inaccuracies on their respective consumer credit reports. More likely a written request indicating the mistake and any proof you have that it was a mistake will be required.
If your dispute is not resolved with the credit reporting agency, you can ask that a brief statement of the dispute stating the error is a result of COVID be included in your file and included or summarized on your credit file. You can also submit a complaint at any time to the CFPB.
After you send your dispute, be sure to keep a close monitor and check your credit report again. You should check your reports with all three nationwide credit reporting agencies to see if the errors have been corrected.
About Agruss Law Firm
Agruss Law Firm was founded in March 2012. Since then, they have quickly grown to include four lawyers, a paralegal, and several legal assistants. They are an entirely paperless operation, instead using digital case management software. The firm’s consumer rights practice helps consumers with debt collection harassment, robocalls, credit report problems, and deceptive business practices.
4809 N. Ravenswood Ave, Suite 419, Chicago, IL 60640