NAR’s new Protect Your Credit guide (in English and Spanish) explains provisions implemented by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to protect your credit scores from January 30, through July 25, 2020, or after the Coronavirus national emergency is declared over, whichever is later. Here are the highlights:
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
If your accounts were current as of February 1, and you are making payments, or made arrangements not to make payments, your creditors, including landlords, must report you as being current on your payments. If you were previously delinquent, but were able to make a repayment plan with the creditor and you are now current on that plan, then your account must be reported as current.
However, you MUST reach out to your creditor (the servicer, bank or credit card company that gave you the loan or extended credit to you) to arrange for forbearance or a payment alternative if you are having trouble making your payments. It is only after making arrangements for repayment that you will be given this protection.
CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT
You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting companies; TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can request and review your free report by visiting annualcreditreport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228. You may opt to request all three reports at one time. However, if you request a report from just one of the companies every four months, you can check your credit throughout the year, as most of the same information is reported with all three organizations.
FIX INACCURATE INFORMATION
To dispute an error on your credit report, you should contact both the credit reporting company and your creditor – the company that provided the information. The dispute processes are similar for credit reporting companies and creditors. You must explain in writing what you think is wrong, why, and provide copies of documents that support your claim. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides resources at cfpb.gov to help consumers dispute an error on their credit report. Letter templates and instruction guides are included to dispute a record with a creditor or lender, and to dispute something on your credit report with a credit reporting agency.
Remember – we are ALWAYS here for you!