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How to Dispute a Credit Report
A credit report contains information about your credit and debt repayment activity. It’s important that this information is accurate because it can impact your eligibility for new loans or lines of credit in the future. If you notice an error, you may wonder how to dispute a credit report. Continue reading to learn more about how to make your credit report accurate!
Also see: This year’s top student credit cards
Submit a dispute
Errors on credit reports can take the form of an error in personal information, account information, or as the result of identity fraud. After identifying the errors on your report, you need to contact the credit reporting company or the creditor reporting the error (s).
Also see: Top financial tips for college students
Credit reporting companies
One way to dispute these errors is by submitting a dispute with the credit reporting company that generated the erroneous report. There are 3 major credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You are eligible to receive a copy of your credit report from each reporter annually. However, AnnualCreditReport.com is offering all consumers a free weekly credit report through April 20, 2022 to help protect their financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
File disputes online, by mail, or over the phone for each company. Here is the contact information for each company:
Mail: P.O. Box 9701 Allen, TX 75013
Phone: Phone number provided on credit report or (888) 397-3742
Mail: P.O. Box 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
Phone: Phone number provided on credit report or (866) 349-5191
Mail: P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016
Phone: (800) 916-8800
Disputes can also be filed directly to the creditor. To do this, you will have to provide documentation to show the creditor that their information is incorrect. The creditor will conduct an investigation into your claim. If they find your dispute to be true, the creditor will update your information with the credit reporting companies.
Also see: How long does it take to build credit?
Credit reports contain a lot of personal information, such as names and Social Security numbers. Credit reports also include account information, such as payment history, bankruptcies, and accounts in collections. In addition, a list of inquiries made by companies you requested credit from is part of your credit report.
To dispute any of this information, you’ll need to provide documentation to show there is an error.
The materials needed will depend on the topic of dispute.
- Personal information can be verified using a driver’s license, birth certificate, utility bills, etc.
- Account information can be verified using current bank statements, a letter from a lender showing the existence of an account, proof that there has been identity theft, etc.
- Other documents used in a credit report dispute include court documents or canceled checks.
Most credit report disputes are resolved within 30 days. The credit reporting company will report back to you with the outcome.
A credit report dispute can have 3 outcomes:
- Incorrect information is corrected
- Information that cannot be verified is updated or deleted
- Information that is accurate remains on the credit report
If you disagree with the outcome of your credit report dispute, you have a few more options. First, you can provide additional documents related to the dispute that may strengthen your case. If you choose, a brief statement regarding the information in question can be added to your credit report. This statement can be up to 100 words long. It will explain to potential lenders why you believe the information to be erroneous. Lastly, you can file a complaint about the credit reporting company to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you are dissatisfied with the dispute.
Check your credit report regularly
Remember to check your credit report regularly. Doing so will help you stay on top of your credit score and information. This will make you more prepared when the time comes to take out a loan or start a new line of credit. Check out our review of Credit Karma, a website that you can use to check your credit report for free.
Also see: What is a student loan credit score?