When was the last time you checked your credit? Experts suggest that you should check your credit report a few times each year. However, the last LendingTree survey found in September 2020, that just 33% of people checked their credit report in the past year, and that number reflects a decrease from 2018 and 2019 respectively. What is hard to reconcile is the fact that fewer people are monitoring their credit even though all three major credit reporting agencies are providing free credit reports through April of 2022.
If you seek motivation or encouragement to monitor your credit regularly, here’s your biggest reason to do so: in 2020 complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding credit report inaccuracies, skyrocketed! Consumers are finding that all three credit reporting agencies are placing more errors and inaccurate information on credit reports than they had prior to 2020. This is a post COVID-19 credit nightmare!
To find the reason why errors and inaccuracies increased, specifically in 2020, we first examine exhibit A: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act. Passed by Congress last year during the height of our challenges with COVID-19 shutdowns, this piece of legislation required lenders to report your account as current if you were adversely affected by the pandemic, and were current on your accounts when you entered into an agreement to defer or make partial payments.
Well, guess what? Not all lenders have not complied with these CARES Act Rules and therefore you and your credit report are paying the price!
HOW TO RESPOND
Should you find errors and inaccuracies on your credit report, what do you do? Start with the knowledge that fixing an error on your credit report will not always translate into a higher credit score. I mean, correcting your home address, will not improve your credit score. However, disputing late payments should help, since on-time payment history constitutes 35% of your FICO score.
To dispute the error you can complete the credit bureau’s online dispute form, write them or call their toll free number. Filing an online form may be the easiest route, and you can attach additional documents as necessary.
The credit reporting agency will respond in 10-14 days after you have filed a dispute, but it could take as long as 30 days. Alternatively, you could reach out to your lender directly and have them correct the inaccuracies as reported on your credit report by reaching out to the agencies accordingly. If you ask the lender to correct the inaccuracies, make sure they send you a letter in writing confirming that the matter has been resolved, that way you have a document to retain for your records. Finally, while going directly to the lender may resolve the matter faster, by going directly to the lender, you may lose your right to get legal assistance, if the lender mishandles your dispute.
Better Password-Protect Your Financial Transactions for CashApp, Venmo and Other Banking Apps.
How long does it take to hack into your password ?
If your Cash App, Venmo, PayPal and other online financial transaction password is 8 characters and is:
- numbers only- it can be hacked instantly
- lower case letters only- it can be hacked in five seconds
- upper and lower case letters- it can be hacked in 22 seconds
- numbers plus upper and lower case letters- hacked time1hour
- numbers plus upper and lower case letters and symbols- hacked time 8hours.
If your Cash App, Venmo, PayPal or other financial transactions password is 11 characters, and :
- numbers only- hacked time – two seconds,
- lower case letters – hacked time one day
- upper and lower case letters- hacked time five years
- numbers plus upper and lower case letters- hacked 41 years
- numbers plus upper and lower case letters and symbols- hacked time 400 years.
I’m about to go change my password and character length so that no one can reach my money for the next 400 years. And that’s what’s up!