It’s no secret that someone’s credit report will likely have some sort of an error. That might not be all that surprising at first glance due to the sheer amount of data contained in a credit report. Not only is someone’s payment histories stored there is information about current and previous employers,let your lender help with credit past addresses, judgments and if that person has gone by any other name, common for married folk.

But it’s really not the three main bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, that is the cause of the error. It’s possible but not as likely as the information provided to these three entities is wrong.

When financing investment real estate, lenders scrutinize an application for a rental property and require more down payment, slightly higher rates and higher credit scores. Mistakes on credit reports can cost someone a loan approval. There are credit repair agencies and while they may have some benefit most consumer advisers say to never pay for something you can do for yourself. Some take that advice and some do not. If you do it on your own, you’ll need to provide documentation the report is in error and not simply write a letter explaining your side. You’ve got to prove it.

For example, say there is a credit card showing up on your credit report that is in collection but it’s not yours. Such an instance will cause credit scores to fall below what most lenders require for investment property.  In this example, you can contact the three bureaus independently that the account does not belong to you. The bureaus will then contact the creditor and compare the social security number, name and so on with yours. If it is a mistake, it’s taken off you report. The law states that if one of the three bureaus corrects a mistake the bureau must notify the other two. In either instance, this can be a drawn out affair and take much longer than a closing taking place 30 days from now.

The trick is to have your lender work on your behalf. Lenders have business relationships with credit reporting agencies and one of the services these agencies offer to lenders is to correct mistakes. In this manner, not only can the report be corrected within 24 hours but your credit score can be recalculated. If there’s a mistake on your report and you can prove it, have your lender help.