Your credit report is a powerful tool that creditors and lenders use to evaluate your creditworthiness. It’s important then that the information held on your credit report is correct. If you spot any errors, they could be costing you more in interest, and they can also prevent you from getting approved for a loan.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of disputing credit report errors and help you to get the correct information registered on your credit report.
Understand How Credit Reporting Works
Credit reporting companies gather and sell information about your credit history. Companies that extend you credit, like banks, credit unions, credit card companies and mortgage lenders provide this information to the credit bureaus.
Then, when you make a payment or miss a payment on your credit account, it is reported to the bureaus. The three major credit bureaus in the Unites States are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Reviewing your credit report from these bureaus is as important as understanding why you got rejected for a loan or a credit card.
Review Your Credit Report and Identify Errors
After you have learnt how credit reporting works, the next step is to review your credit report from each of the three bureaus.
Look out for things that seem false or incomplete, such as the wrong name, incorrect address, accounts that are not yours, accounts that have been settled, errors in payment history, and late payments that were recorded outside the seven-year statute of limitations.
Also, review your credit report for old information. Inaccurate information in your credit report can significantly reduce your credit score, so make sure all the information is up to date and correct.
Gather Documentation to Support Your Dispute
If you spot any errors on your credit report, it is important to gather all the necessary documents which support your case. These documents include bills, bank statements, receipts, invoices, or financial records, which can prove your actual payment, change of address, or dispute with a creditor.
Select all documents that inform your dispute and provide clear evidence for your side of the argument.
Contact an Attorney
If your dispute isn’t resolved successfully and you are still having difficulty getting your disputes taken care of, you can consult with a consumer law attorney. The credit correction attorney will help you review your options, including determining if you have enough proof to file a lawsuit.
File a Dispute with the Credit Bureau
If you believe any information on your credit report is incorrect, you have the right to dispute it with the credit bureau that provided that report to creditors. Disputing an error is simple: write a letter or file an online dispute form to the bureau that published the faulty report.
Indicate the error that you would like to dispute, write any relevant information that you would like to communicate, and attach any documentation that could support your case. The bureau must investigate your claim, and if it is found to be inaccurate, the bureau must correct your credit report.
Monitor Your Progress
You should monitor the progress of the credit bureau’s response throughout the dispute process. It usually takes credit bureaus 30-45 days to investigate a dispute. You can follow up with the bureau via online portals, emails, phone calls, and letters.
Whatever your preferred follow-up method, be sure to gather the information necessary to track your case effectively.