The American credit-reporting system enjoys mythical status among millions of everyday people as an all-seeing all-knowing and infallible Big Brother.
In this same population though, most people are known to have unfair and flawed citations and poorly verified credit ratings. Today, chances are stronger for finding unfairly low ratings in any given individual’s report than they are for finding a fair one.
Chances are stronger still that the individual affected will never see what is done to him and petition against unfairness, thanks to the unquestioned credibility enjoyed by the credit rating system.
The belief among the public in America is that a bad credit score is always the individual’s fault, never the credit ratings agency’s fault.
If a bad credit score weighs down a report, there is little to do, it is expected, other than wait seven years for it to naturally be phased out.
Few are aware though that several studies exist specifically to disprove this. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is in existence due to the acceptance of the inadequacy of the system.
When things can go so bad that legislation is introduced to correct the problem, why do so few show an interest in asking for fair credit reports? The apathy seen in people could not come from any failure to grasp the importance of the life of a positive credit report; it is obvious to anyone how a good credit report can lower loan and credit card interest rates by hundreds of dollars every month.
The reason then is possible that people have a strong innate trust in the official method: in how there is an iron-clad system in place for everything important that will not be unfair to the man on the street.
As it happens, this is a seriously distorted and naive view of the system.
The credit rating system is not the interference-proof structure the legal system is. The credit rating agencies are merely large businesses that buy information from creditors and compile them into individual reports to sell for profit. What kind of method do they have in place to check the accuracy of the information they receive from every creditor about your payment defaults and the like?
The fact is that they do not typically have an accuracy control procedure. Incorrect and damaging statements can be reported and recorded to any individual rating report without any inspections or scrutiny. Once those ratings are a part of the system they are free to harm your credit status.
The way the system is built, the assumption is that there needs to be no regulatory body, or self-regulation to make everything work smoothly: the responsibility is placed squarely on the man on the street, the recipient of the report to make sure he gets a fair shake.
You, a member of society are charged with the responsibility for determining from time to time if everything adds up on your credit report; and of bringing up protests if anything happens to be amiss.
Any dubious assertions on your credit report will need to be disputed. You can do it yourself and follow through on it, or you can pay a credit repair law firm to pursue your case for you.
But like a rights violation you may have anywhere else in life, a burglary or an infringement of any kind, you are asked to take an interest in it yourself.
Whichever way you decide to stand up for your rights, things will turn out well only if you understand that a correct credit rating is your responsibility and yours alone. This insight in itself puts you far ahead of the crowd.