How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

Some of the information included in your credit report includes whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy, your criminal record (or lack thereof), your bill payments and home address. This information is sold by credit reporting companies to employers, insurers and creditors so they can assess your application for employment, insurance, credit or apartment/home renting. The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) facilitates the privacy and accuracy of the information. 

Financial advisors and experts always advise their clients to review their credit reports occasionally. Why is that?

How To Dispute Errors on Credit Rep...
How To Dispute Errors on Credit Reports
  • The information in these reports affects your eligibility to get loans and the interest you pay. 
  • You need to confirm that the information is up-to-date and accurate before applying for a major loan or job. 
  • To protect yourself from identity theft. 

Ordering Your Free Report

Each of the credit reporting companies, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, are required to give you a copy of your report for free, once a year. 

The three of them have one website set up, a mailing address and a toll-free number. You can use any one of these channels to order the free annual report.

Website: annualcreditreport.com

Toll-free number: 1-877-322-8228

Mailing address:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

You can get the report from each of the three or two or just one. But don’t contact each one individually. 

Other Situations That Allow for a Free Report

If your credit application is denied based on what is in your credit report, you are entitled to get a free report. But you have to put in your request within two months of being notified of the action. In the notice, they include the details of the credit reporting company.

You are also eligible for one free report annually if you’re on welfare, there’s false information in the report due to fraud or you are unemployed and want to find a job within the next two months. 

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Advice

Correcting Errors

The information provider and credit reporting company are responsible for making sure that the information in your report is accurate. Contact the information provider and reporting company to take advantage of your rights.

First Step

Write to the reporting company, highlighting the inaccurate information. Support your position with copies of documents. Request them to remove or correct the information. Keep a copy of the letter and documents. 

The company is required to investigate within 30 days. They then have to forward the information you provided to the information provider. The latter will investigate and report the findings back to the reporting company. 

If changes are made as a result of the dispute, you will receive a response in writing and a free credit report. 

Step Two

Send a dispute letter with supporting documents to the information provider. If they continue to report the disputed item, they are required to inform the credit reporting company about the dispute. And if the information you gave is correct, they are required to let the reporting company know so they can update your report. 

Include copies of the documents that support your request and save copies for your files.

[Date]

[Your Name]

[Your Address]
[Your City, State, Zip Code]

[Credit Bureau Name]

[Street Address]
[City, State, Zip Code]

Subject: Disputing Information in Credit Report

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file.

This item [for instance: retailer account at ABC Department Store] is inaccurate [or incomplete] because [describe in detail what is inaccurate or incomplete and why]. I am requesting that this item be removed [or request another specific change to correct the information].

[List and describe any other items you are disputing.]

Enclosed is documentation supporting my request: [describe the documents you’re sending, for instance: my credit report, with the disputed items circled.]

Please investigate this matter and delete [or correct] the disputed item[s] as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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