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Checking Account Credit Repair in Five Easy Steps
Last Updated: September 23, 2012
Banks lose over a billion dollars a year on bad checks, so it is no surprise they report negative checking account activity to the nation’s checking account reporting agencies. Though you are probably unaware of it, when you go to open a new checking account, the bank may pull your report from one or more of these agencies (ChexSystems being the biggest) to ensure that you do not have a negative checking account history. Beyond your ability to open a checking account, negative listings on these reports can also impact your ability to get credit.
For these reasons, it is imperative you keep an eye on your checking account reports, just as you would your regular credit reports, so you can take steps to make reparations, need be.
- Request copies of your checking account reports. Just as with the three main credit reporting agencies, you are entitled to a free annual report from all of the checking account reporting agencies. ChexSystems is the biggest, but you should also request copies from Dakota Credit Services and First Data.
- Go through your checking account reports, making note of listings that negatively affect your checking account credit history. The most common negative listings to look for include:
- Multiple Overdrafts
- Reports of Lost or Stolen Checks
- Forced Closure of a Checking Account
Other listings that reflect negatively on a checking account report are of a more serious nature, such as false information provided at the opening of the account, fraud, record of attempts at opening multiple checking accounts within a few months’ time, and outstanding balances still owed from overdrafts and other fees.
- Dispute the negative listings. Just as with the regular credit reporting agencies, you can and should dispute negative listings on your checking account reports. We have sample letters you may use for both the initial and follow-up letters.
- Mail your letters of dispute via certified mail. This way you can know with certainty when the agency received the letter, a critically-important piece of information, as they have a limited amount of time to respond. If your checking account report was obtained for free, the bureau has 45 days to respond, otherwise just 30 days.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4. Just as with credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, it may be that you can dispute negative listings multiple times, citing a different reason in each dispute letter.