Your credit report is a record of your credit history and financial behavior. Credit bureaus collect information from various sources, such as lenders, credit card companies, and public records. However, errors can occur in your credit report, which can negatively impact your credit score and your ability to get credit. Therefore, it is important to dispute errors on your credit report as soon as you identify them.
Step-by-Step Guide to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
- Get a copy of your credit report – You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Review your credit report – Carefully review your credit report for any errors, such as inaccurate personal information, incorrect account balances, or fraudulent accounts.
- Document the errors – Make a list of the errors you found and gather any supporting documents, such as account statements, receipts, or correspondence with the creditor.
- Dispute the errors – You can dispute errors online, by phone, or by mail. Credit bureaus are required by law to investigate your dispute within 30 days. To dispute errors online, visit each credit bureau’s website and follow the instructions. To dispute errors by phone, call the credit bureau’s toll-free number. To dispute errors by mail, send a letter to the credit bureau’s address on your credit report.
- Follow up – After you dispute the errors, follow up with the credit bureau to make sure they received your dispute and are investigating it. You may also need to follow up with the creditor to resolve the dispute.
- Review your updated credit report – After the credit bureau completes its investigation, it will send you an updated credit report. Review the report to confirm that the errors have been corrected.
Tips for Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report
- Be persistent – Disputing errors on your credit report can be a lengthy process. It may take several rounds of disputes to get the errors corrected.
- Be specific – When you dispute errors, be specific about what information is inaccurate and provide supporting documents.
- Be patient – Credit bureaus are required to investigate your dispute within 30 days, but it may take longer to resolve the dispute.
- Monitor your credit report – Regularly review your credit report to make sure there are no new errors or fraudulent accounts.
- Consider credit monitoring – Consider using a credit monitoring service to receive alerts when there are changes to your credit report.
Disputing errors on your credit report is an important step in maintaining good credit and financial health. By following the steps outlined above and being persistent, specific, and patient, you can correct errors on your credit report and protect your credit score.