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Job Opportunities Reviewing Your Credit Reports

Review your credit reports for inaccurate information or credit report errors. Look for accounts that you never opened. These may be accounts opened by an identity thief or information that the reporting agency mistakenly associated with you. Look for inaccurate information about your payment history and current balances. Examine your address and work history, paying particular attention to information that does not belong to you, which may cause other errors.

When examining your reports, you should also look at the section that identifies who else has reviewed your file. Typically, you will find creditors with whom you have an account perform account reviews, which is a lawful purpose. You will also find banks and other financial entities with whom you have requested credit. If, however, you see entities listed with whom you did not seek credit or otherwise give permission to review your credit file, these entities may have unlawfully reviewed your personal and financial information.

You should write to the credit reporting agencies regarding all inaccurate information in your files and about unauthorized access to your file. If you dispute the information and the credit reporting agency cannot verify that the information is valid, the agency has a legal obligation to remove it from your report and to notify you of its actions on your dispute. Also, if the agency re-reports the information, it must give you written notice of doing so.

If the credit reporting agency or the furnisher verifies bad information, you may have a claim against one or both of them. For this reason, it is important that all your communication be in writing, or at least confirmed in writing, and that you send it by certified return receipt mail and that you keep a copy of the letters that you send. These written communications will be valuable proof of any violations.

If someone has accessed your credit report without your permission or with legal authority to do so, you may also have a claim for that invasion of privacy against anyone doing so, that person's employer if it was done for or permitted by the employer, and possibly against the credit reporting agency for permitting the unlawful access to your file.