Your credit report is probably the single most important document in your financial life; it affects whether you are eligible for loans, housing, employment, everything. Having incorrect information on your credit report is bad in itself, but it becomes extremely problematic when the misinformation is damaging. Make sure you’re on top of the information on your credit report so that if there is information that is incorrect, you can dispute it properly to get it rectified.
Should you have any error on your credit report, be it as seemingly negligible or not, you need to correct it right away. Sometimes a casual mistake like a wrong address or phone number may have been made by a third party, but oftentimes little things like these may be indicators of identity theft and other types of fraud. The credit reporting companies advise that should you notice issues like an incorrect address or spelling of your name, to contact each of your creditors to ensure that they have the correct information, as the misinformation may be coming from them. For more significant errors you will want to contact your credit reporting agency directly; when reporting your credit errors, you want to make certain that you are very thorough and that you keep documentation of all communication.
Experian , Transunion and Equifax all offer error reporting online for convenience, and more information can be found by clicking on the links provided. However, it is advised that you send all communication about errors on your credit report by certified mail with return receipt requested as you want to ensure that you have copies of outgoing and incoming communication for documentation.
When sending your letter to the respective credit-reporting agency, be sure to state exactly what information is incorrect and the errors that have been identified on your credit report that you wish to dispute. You also ned to explain why you think it is incorrect and include any documentation you have which can support your case. Also, make certain to state if you want information corrected or removed entirely. Include a copy of your credit report with annotations highlighting the errors, and order copies of your credit report from the other two agencies to see if there is any conflicting information.
Before sending your letter, review it to ensure that there are absolutely no mistakes about the errors you’re disputing, as well as the contact information including your name and address are accurate. Your credit agency should respond within thirty days of receiving your letter, and will also contact the party responsible for the misinformation. By law, they must investigate, report and rectify any issues across the board.
After this process, you will receive written notice of all of the details, as well as a free copy of your new credit report reflecting the changed or deleted information. You can also request that copies be forwarded to the persons or entities that received the wrong information. If however, the investigation concluded that the errors your disputed were indeed accurate, you will be notified and given the information of the creditor who supplied the information as well as the full details of the incident. At this point, you can ask that your query be kept on file and distributed to anyone who accesses your credit report so that they can be aware that you lodged an inquiry. If all else fails, you may need to hire an attorney.