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Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report

Posted on 2014-09-10 09:00:13

girl-at-gymMistakes happen. When they happen to your credit report, it’s time to take action. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that 1 in 20 Americans has a “meaningful” error on their credit report that should be corrected. Credit report errors can result in a lower credit score and can negatively impact a consumer’s ability to get credit at the best terms. Other entities that use your credit report or credit score to make decisions that affect you include utility companies, insurance companies, landlords and employers. Accuracy matters! Although the credit bureaus (also known as a credit reporting agencies) and the information provider (the company that provided the information to the bureau) are responsible for correcting credit report errors, it is up to the consumer to bring an error to their attention. Know your credit score in minutes. Report Errors to the Credit Bureau Report credit report errors in writing to the credit bureau that is hosting the inaccurate information. Your credit report will have contact details for each credit bureau. Include copies (not originals) of documents to support your claim. Explain your side of the story and why you think there is a mistake. Unless the claim is deemed frivolous, the credit bureau must investigate within 30 days. They must forward the information in your claim to the information provider. The information provider must investigate and report back to the credit bureau. If the information provider determines the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three national credit bureaus so the information can be corrected on your credit report. When the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must provide you with the results (in writing) and a free copy of your credit report if the dispute resulted in a change to the report. At your request, the credit bureau must send a copy of your revised credit report to anyone who received your report within the past six months. If the investigation is not in your favor, you can add a statement to your credit report that will be included with future reports. Report Errors to the Information Provider Although credit bureaus will forward information regarding your claim to the information provider, it is recommended that you also contact the information provider directly. Your credit report should include contact details for the information provider. Include copies (not originals) of documents to support your claim. Explain your side of the story and why you think there is a mistake. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Report Since information on your credit report can change frequently, it is a good idea to review your credit report periodically. MyFreeScoreNow’s credit monitoring service can help you maintain an accurate credit report by alerting you whenever there are significant changes to your credit report.