If you find an error on your credit reports. you’ll need to know your rights. Your most effective weapon in dealing with the credit bureaus is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Legally, the FCRA protects you by requiring credit bureaus to furnish correct and complete information to companies requesting credit histories for evaluation. If you find an error on your report. simply follow these steps:
- Write to the credit reporting agency disputing the item and include any supporting documents. Keep a copy of all documents for your files.
- When the credit reporting agency receives your letter disputing the item, they must investigate the item in dispute (usually within 30 days) by presenting the information you submit to the creditor.
- By law, the creditor must review your evidence and report its findings to the credit bureau.
- The credit bureau must then give you a written report of its investigation and a copy of your report if the report results in a change.
You can also fill out an online dispute form provided
by the credit bureaus. The websites for the three major credit bureaus are:
If an item on your report is found to be an error and is corrected, you can request that the credit bureau send corrected copies of your report to any creditor who received your report in the previous six months or any employer who received your report in the previous two years.
If you are not satisfied with the results of a formal dispute, you can also seek resolution with the source of the information. To do this, write to the creditor disputing the incorrect entry. After receiving your letter, the creditor may not report the information without including a notice of your dispute. In addition, once you have notified the source of the error in writing, it may not continue to report the information if it is an error.
To review your credit report one-on-one with a trained professional, visit MoneyManagement.org or call 888-942-9723.
Also, see this video and blog post by Andy Jolls on how to clean up your credit report .