When a credit report contains errors, it is often because the report is incomplete or contains information about someone else. This typically happens because:
If you feel your credit report contains errors, or is missing accounts, learn more about how to file a dispute on a credit report below.
To insure that the any mistakes gets corrected as quickly as possible, contact both the credit bureau and organization that provided the information to the bureau. Both these parties are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The first step in filing a credit dispute is to document, in writing, the information you believe to be inaccurate in your credit report. You can send your dispute letter using regular mail, or you can use the online dispute process offered by each credit bureau's website. The credit bureau must investigate the item(s) in question — usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous.
Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position. You may also want to enclose a copy of your credit report with the items in question circled. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your credit report dispute letter should:
If you send your dispute by regular mail, your letter may look something like this sample. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document that the credit bureau received your correspondence. Keep copies of your correspondence and any enclosures.
Often your credit report is incorrect because bureaus have been misinformed by creditors or creditors have not reported your information at all. To correct this, you should submit a dispute to the source. Even if the error is not corrected, the provider must then include a notice of your dispute if they report the same information to a bureau again.
If you've been told you were denied credit because of an "insufficient credit file" or "no credit file" and you have accounts with creditors that don't appear in your credit file, ask your creditors to begin reporting your credit information to credit bureaus. (Some gasoline card companies, local retailers, student loan lenders and credit unions are among this group of non-reporting creditors.) However, creditors are not required to report consumer credit information to credit bureaus, and if they don’t, you may wish to move your account to a different creditor who does report regularly to credit bureaus.
When writing to your creditor, include copies of documents that support your position. Request that the provider copy you on correspondence it sends to the bureau. Your credit providers should specify an address for disputes and this process should take between 30 and 90 days.
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