Correcting Credit Report Before Buying a Car

Reader question:

I’m checking my credit report before buying a new car, and there’s something on here that is definitely not mine. What do I do?


I’m glad to hear you’re checking your report.

That is one of the most important things to do before you buy a car, especially if you want to get a good deal. If you know what your credit report looks like and what you’re score is, then you will have a better idea of how the car dealership will see you. Because, and don’t get me wrong, but they don’t see you as a person.You’re either a 550 or a 750, and that’s it. Knowing which one you are will help you set your expectations.

One of the main reasons to check your credit report is to make sure that it doesn’t contain any incorrect information. It’s often the case that something will slip on their by accident, or a lender will give the wrong kind of information about you. It happens, but it has such a bad effect on your life, because a difference in just a few points on your credit score can mean a whole lot less credit you can get and a whole lot more interest you have to pay.

If you see accounts where the amount was already settled, or bad credit information of over ten years ago, you can dispute it, because it has no reason to be on your report. The company that put that bad information on your report has to have proof, so write to them asking to see it. If they can’t show in thirty days, then they have to drop the charges and you can request that they have the credit bureau remove it from your report.

If your dispute is still in the process, though, that doesn’t mean it just has to sit there accusingly.You can add a statement of one hundred words to that particular item on the report so that anybody who gets a copy of your report in the future can see it.

Credit bureaus mess up. A lot. In fact, five out every ten credit reports will have a mistake on them. It’s easy to fall into that first five. So look at your credit report and dispute what shouldn’t be there. Check out the Federal Trade Commission to find out what your rights are.


Fashun Guadarrama.

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."