How to Dispute Something on Your Credit Report

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  • 3/2/12
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  • Going Over How To Dispute Something On Your Credit Report
    Dispute Something On Credit Report
    Like it or not, the information in your credit report plays a vital role in your financial life. Your credit report tells potential lenders about your bill-paying habits, whether you have ever filed for bankruptcy, where you live and whether you have ever been arrested. Potential bosses and lenders will look at your credit history when you apply for a job, a credit card or a mortgage. Because the information in your credit report has a significant impact on your finances, it is important that it be accurate.

    Read on to learn how to obtain copies of your credit report and dispute any mistakes you may find.

    1. Request a copy of your credit report from annualcreditreport.com. This site provides free copies of reports from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus on a yearly basis. You may order copies from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion all at once, or you may order them at different times.

    2. Examine each of the credit reports you receive. They may not contain identical information.

    3. If you do find an error, dispute it quickly. Errors may include accounts not belonging to you, incorrect amounts and payments you made that are not listed. Most negative items should stay on your report for only 7 years. Bankruptcies may remain there for 10 years.

    4. While you can file a dispute online at the websites of the three major credit bureaus, many experts recommend that you send your dispute by certified mail, requesting return receipt. If your problem is not resolved, you will have a record of the times you filed the dispute and the credit bureau received it. Mailing addresses for Equifax and TransUnion can be found on their websites. Disputes can be mailed to Experian at P.O. Box 9701, Allen, TX 75013.

    5. Write a letter to the bureau pointing out inaccuracies in the report. Include copies of documents supporting your position.

    6. Credit reporting companies generally have 30 to 45 days to investigate your dispute. They should send supporting documents to the creditor that supplied the inaccurate information. If the creditor finds it has made an error, it must supply that information to all three bureaus so that your report may be corrected.

    7. Cover all your bases, and send notification of the dispute to the creditor who is the source of the error. Include your supporting documents in case the credit reporting bureau fails to pass them on.

    Tips:
    • Review your credit reports periodically for errors or omissions, especially if you are considering a major purchase.
    Image Credit: dharma-putra
    Written By: Shannon R
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