Negative Info on Credit Report: What to Do if You Can’t Get a Loan Because of a Bad Credit Report

Negative information on your credit report can mean the difference between getting a loan or not, and between paying a high or a low interest rate. If you’ve just been turned down by a lender, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your report from a credit bureau. After you read it, zero in on the negative information and go to work.
What to Do if There is False Information on Your Credit Report
Write to the credit bureau that has the wrong information along with the lender who gave them that report. Explain your side of the story. The bureau must respond to your complaint within 30 days. If you can prove the information is wrong, they are required to take it out of your report.
What to Do if the Information on Your Credit Report Is Negative, but True
If you really were three months behind on your credit card payment, write to all three credit bureaus including the credit card company and explain your situation. If you write a note in 100 words or less, it will be included on your report next to the negative information. Your late payment won’t go away (at least not for another seven years) but at least potential lenders will be able to read your side of the story.
How to Prevent Negative Information from Getting to the Credit Bureaus
• Pay your bills on time! Sure, it sounds simple, but most people get into problems when they get farther and farther behind. Being 30 days behind on a credit card could result in a negative report. So could consistently late payments, failure to pay rent or student loans. Some of the worst situations are when creditors send your account to collections, a landlord evicts you, or your car is repossessed.
• Negotiate a lower interest rate with your credit card company. If you are getting behind, don’t wait. Contact the credit card issuer now. Chances are they have already raised your interest rate. Once you stop paying in a timely manner, companies try to get the most money out of you that they can, so your rates go up. Ask to speak with a manager about lowering your interest. Explain in a matter-of-fact way, why you are behind. He/she will most likely find a way to work with you.
Get help. If your debt seems insurmountable, it might be time to contact a reputable credit counseling service.