Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.
My Lender Sank My Credit Score by Misreporting a Payment As Late. How Can I Fix It?
Russ from Georgia asks: “My mortgage company reported a late payment in error, which caused my credit score to drop 47 points. The bank admitted to the error. How do I get those points back?”
Clark’s Take on How To Fix a Reporting Mistake That Has Hurt Your Credit
Clark says: “This is completely on the bank to fix it. … Unless you apply strong pressure, the banks don’t do right by you on these kinds of errors and neither do the mortgage lenders.”
Here’s how Clark suggests you go about getting a reporting error on your credit rectified:
“Give the mortgage company just one more month to correct the filings they do with the credit bureau,” he says.
Clark says you then have two options:
- File a complaint with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at consumerfinance.gov/complaint/.
- See if you can file a complaint with your state government (many states require mortgage lenders to have state licenses).
Once you file an official complaint with a regulating agency, Clark says here’s what’s most likely to happen:
“They will change their stripes, correct the file … and the bank or the mortgage company will do a ‘non-apology apology’ and just say, ‘The records are corrected.’ And sure enough, that late pay will disappear from your credit files, and your score will go back up the 47 points.”
Another option you can try is to report the error with the credit-reporting agencies. Here’s how to dispute your credit report and win.
To hear Clark’s full take on this question, listen to the segment:
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