How to Handle Credit Report Errors
UPDATED: February 20, 2013
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident law decisions. Finding trusted and reliable legal advice should be easy. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Identifying and correcting credit report errors is essential. The credit report, issued as a three-digit score, is the determining factor in your ability to obtain a loan or a credit card. Your credit report can also determine whether your loan will have favorable or budget-breaking interest rates. Credit report errors can and do happen, so you'll need to check your credit report periodically to ensure that it contains no mistakes. If you do identify an error, then you can dispute that error with the credit bureau.
How to Dispute Errors on a Credit Report
Disputing errors on your credit report is easier than ever before, thanks to the Internet. It is now possible to file an online dispute with the credit bureaus if incorrect information appears on your report. The websites to file a dispute for the three major credit bureaus are:
Once you have submitted your dispute, the credit bureau will notify the creditor and take any necessary steps to investigate the accuracy of the information. If the information is not confirmed (with proper supporting evidence) by the creditor within a reasonable period, then it must be removed from your record.
If you intend to dispute the information, it is a good idea to dispute it with all three bureaus to ensure it is removed. It is also a good idea to get another copy of your credit report after a few months have passed to make sure the inaccurate details really were removed.
If the information is not removed, or if you have a large amount of inaccurate information that may have resulted from an identity theft case, consulting with a lawyer to help you clean up your credit may be in your best interests.