Errors on your credit report could be a mistake as humans are prone to make mistakes. But there are few mistakes which can harm you and your life long plans to a great extent. An incorrect credit report is also one of them.
Your credit report is your life support system. It contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, your personal information, etc. If anything is stated wrong in the report, it can become a hurdle in case you are planning to apply for a home loan, call loans, insurance, applying for a job or renting a home. So in order to get all of these things straight and easy, it is very important to get the mistakes removed from your credit report. This is the only way you can keep your record clean and ready to be presented whenever required.
It is advisable to view your credit report periodically so that if you find any errors, you can take immediate steps to remove them. Because you never know when you get to use it. Plus, it is also better to keep the report updated as low credit scores can impact your ability to perform any of the aforementioned acts. Some mistakes can be of minor nature such as misspellings of names or locations, and other mistakes can be major such as wrong payment history or addition of credit amounts. Any misinformation that does not belong to you, needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Some other common credit report errors include:
- Accounts that do not belong to you
- Accounts belonging to someone else the same as your name
- Old closed accounts are shown as open
- Late or unseemly payment history
- One account details are written twice
- Incorrect account balance information
- The incorrect credit limit on accounts
It is definitely worth your time to take a look at your credit report as many times in a year as you can and if you find any mistakes, follow few simple tips below to correct them before it is too late.
Review Your Credit Report
The first and the foremost step in order to get your credit reports mistakes fixed, it is mandatory to review the report more often. Go through the whole report very carefully, check out the spellings, incorrect phone numbers or addresses, etc. Check the account information, it might contain information about somebody else with the same name. Identity theft is another kind of mistake that is seen quite often. It occurs when an account is mistakenly attributed to you as someone has stolen your personal information and used it to open fake accounts.
You are liable to get one free credit report from all three leading credit bureaus, Equifax , Experian, and TransUnion.
Contact the Credit Company
After you are done reviewing your credit report, contact the credit reporting company that has produced the report with errors. You have to contact them in writing. You can also report the errors online through the consumer reports portal.
It is recommended to write in detail and share all your findings with proof. Explain what the error is and how it can be removed. You also have the option to attach the supporting documents (copies only, not original) to verify the incorrect details. Your letter or email should contain all the information you dispute. Highlight the credit report errors to make them more noticeable. If you are sending it by mail, make sure to use a trusted certified mail service that provides a return receipt.
For online dispute submission, click on the following options to submit your dispute:
- Equifax -How to dispute
- TransUnion –Manage a dispute
- Experian -Dispute online
Contact the Furnishers as Well
It is advisable to contact the furnishers as well who had provided the incorrect information to the credit company. Banks, companies, organizations and credit card issuers are called furnishers. They are the one who provides information about you to your credit reporting company.
Send the same error details to the furnishers that you have sent to your credit company. Make sure you have all the supporting documents and information to strengthen your dispute report and get it fixed quickly. If the furnishers find the dispute valid, they will inform the respective credit reporting company to either update it or delete it.
Wait For the Response
The general waiting time after submitting the dispute report is 30 days. If you have submitted your dispute with the furnishers, they may also take up to 30 days to investigate and report back to you.
In case your dispute is marked with “frivolous”, it means that the documents you have provided are either incorrect or incomplete. It can also happen if you have submitted the same old information multiple times without any new solid proof to support your dispute. In both cases, the respective credit bureau will contact you back within five days after the submission of disputes.
Check Out the Feedback
After the turnaround time of 30 days, the bureau will provide the results of the investigation in writing. In this case, there are two scenarios:
If the credit bureau agrees with the dispute, they will remove the error and will send you a free copy of your updated credit report. In this case, you can also request the bureau to resend the copies of your credit report to everyone they have sent it to in the last six months.
If the bureau disagrees, they will inform you that they cannot remove the errors from your credit report. The reasons could be incomplete or incorrect information provided, or In this case, you have the following options:
- Resubmit the application with proper and complete documentation
- Contact the furnishers directly to resolve the dispute
- File a complaint to CFBP (consumer financial protection bureau)
- Hire a consumer protection attorney if it is important
Verify Your Credit Reports
After you have received confirmation by your credit bureau, keep an open eye on the credit reports as it may take some time to update. If you don’t see the required update on the credit report after a certain time period, contact the bureau and get the dispute updated as soon as possible.
It is essential to verify your credit reports with short intervals so that you can get mistakes corrected at the right time. The dispute process is not complicated at all but the time it requires can be bothersome for some people. So be vigilant as it is worth the effort.