The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted in 1971, giving consumers the right to know what information is in their credit report, and to dispute any errors. Our credit counseling advice is to check your credit report periodically. Why would you want to know what’s in your credit report? Because that information will be used to determine your qualification for things like loans and credit cards, and the conditions which you will receive. Any incorrect information could hurt your credit score. Here’s how to fix credit report errors.
Check Your Credit Report for Errors
The first step is to request a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, Trans Union). You can request one report, or all three at once. To make your request, you can do one of two things…
- Go to AnnualCreditReport.com
- Call 877-322-8228
How Do You Dispute Credit Report Errors?
Once you have obtained your credit report, review it and look for anything that looks out of place. You will see a list of every line of credit and loan that you have ever had, as well as payment history on those accounts. You will also find other personal information including past and present addresses, social security number, employment history, public records, and more.
If you see any incorrect information that may negatively impact your credit score, you can dispute the error by contacting the agency who reported it. Each agency has their own convenient process to dispute credit report errors on their respective websites.
Once a dispute is submitted, the agency has 30 days to investigate and respond. If you disagree with their findings, you can submit a dispute letter to further argue your point and provide more information.
Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter
You can submit a written statement explaining your dispute, and cite specific information to prove your claim. Here you will find a sample dispute letter. Use this as an outline when writing your credit report error dispute.
Why Dispute Credit Report Errors?
Incorrect information on your credit report can wreak havoc on your credit score, and thus hurt your chances of obtaining lines of credit and loans.
It may feel intimidating to dispute an error by the credit reporting agencies, but it is not difficult and completely worth the effort. In the financial world of credit and lending, your credit report is incredibly important. Take the time to make sure all the information is correct.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.