Your credit report is an important document that can impact many areas of your life, from securing a loan or credit card to renting an apartment or even getting a job. Therefore, it’s crucial to make sure that the information on your credit report is accurate and up-to-date.
However, errors on credit reports are more common than you might think. According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission, one in five consumers have an error on at least one of their credit reports. These errors can range from incorrect personal information to inaccurate payment histories and can have a significant impact on your credit score.
If you discover an error on your credit report, it’s important to take action immediately. Here are some steps you can take to deal with errors on your credit report:
- Obtain a copy of your credit report
The first step in dealing with errors on your credit report is to obtain a copy of it. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) every 12 months. You can request a copy of your credit report from each agency through AnnualCreditReport.com.
Review your credit report carefully and make note of any errors you find, such as incorrect personal information, accounts that don’t belong to you, or inaccurate payment histories.
2. Dispute the errors with the credit reporting agency
Once you’ve identified errors on your credit report, you’ll need to dispute them with the credit reporting agency. You can do this online, by mail, or by phone.
When disputing an error, make sure to include all relevant information, such as the account number, the nature of the error, and any documentation that supports your dispute. Be as specific as possible and explain why you believe the information is inaccurate.
The credit reporting agency is required to investigate your dispute and respond within 30 days. If they determine that the information is inaccurate, they are required to correct it on your credit report.
3. Dispute the errors with the creditor
In addition to disputing the error with the credit reporting agency, you should also contact the creditor or lender associated with the account in question. Provide them with the same information you provided to the credit reporting agency and explain why you believe the information is inaccurate.
The creditor is required to investigate your dispute and respond to you in writing within 30 days. If they determine that the information is inaccurate, they are required to notify all three credit reporting agencies and request that the information be corrected.
4. Follow up on the dispute
After disputing an error with the credit reporting agency and the creditor, it’s important to follow up on the dispute to make sure the error has been corrected. You can request a free copy of your credit report from the credit reporting agency after the dispute has been resolved to confirm that the error has been corrected.
It’s also a good idea to keep a record of all correspondence related to the dispute, including the date and time of your phone calls and copies of any letters or emails you send or receive.
5. Be patient
Dealing with errors on your credit report can be a frustrating process, but it’s important to be patient and persistent. It can take time for the credit reporting agency and the creditor to investigate and correct the error, so don’t expect immediate results. If the error is not corrected after you’ve disputed it with the credit reporting agency and the creditor, you may need to seek legal assistance. Kazerouni Law Group, APC offers free consultations to help consumers like you fix errors on their credit report.