Should You Make A Comment?
In a recent column for Oregnon Live, Liz Weston commented that there is no real value to requesting that the credit bureaus post a consumer statement in the event that the bureau refuses to correct or remove an items. Ms. Weston comments, "Because lending is largely automated, however, there's no guarantee your statement will be read, let alone factored into a lending decision. Many of the other details of your credit report are converted to standardized codes used to calculate credit scores, but not consumer statements."
The Purpose of Consumer Comments
The idea that posting a consumer statement on a report is a "waste of time" or "not likely to help" misses the point of consumer statements. The purpose of a consumer comment is to put creditors on notice that the credit report that they are looking at may not tell the whole picture so that they can flag the report as potentially having inaccurate information. That standing comment lets creditors know that a consumer's explanation of derogatory information predates the credit application. In other words a standing comment gives the impression that the consumer is not just making up an excuse for something they didn't know about. Rather, that comment was placed specifically to address future creditors.
Three Reasons to Make A Consumer Comment.
While Ms. Weston's comments are correct, they do not address the real reason why a consumer may want to add their personal statement to their credit report.
- First and foremost, not all credit applications are decided on scores alone, and a consumer's comment may be reach and considered. While most creditors use automated process -- called "auto approve" or "auto decline" -- to decide a credit application, many consumers fall within the range of scores that ordinarily require a review by a live person called an underwriter. If your credit score falls below the "auto approve" score and above the "auto decline" score, your application will go to a live person. If so, then your comment can be viewed by that underwriter, and may have an impact on how the creditor views any negative items. So, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
- Second, if you add the comment to your report, you can also note in your credit application that the comment exists and demand that the creditor review those comments. Federal law requires creditors to consider any information provided by the consumer indicating that their credit history is inaccurate. While many creditors fail to comply with this requirement, smart consumers who assert themselves and know their rights may prompt creditors to ignore a disputed item that should not appear on their report.
- Lastly, if you have been the victim of an identity theft, a consumer's personal comment may present a good opportunity to let creditors know which accounts are in dispute. While this is no guarantee of a credit approval, creditors may not discriminate against consumers who add comments or dispute flags to their credit files.
If you need help with a credit dispute or a history of identity theft. Call our offices today at (248) 208-8864 or write to through our online contact form. We can help or provide you with the self-help tools you need to restore your credit with Experian, Equifax, Trans Union, and Innovis.