The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that protects consumers from inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information in their credit report. If you feel your credit report contains errors or inaccuracies, you have the right to dispute them and request corrections.
Credit report mistakes are more common than you may believe.
According to a study commissioned by the Federal Trade Commission, about 25% of credit reports included potentially significant inaccuracies.
You don’t want silly errors on your credit report to disrupt your best planned financial plans after you’ve put in the work to ensure your finances are properly handled, debts are paid off, and you’ve been generally wise with your money.
Credit report errors occur in all forms and sizes, and they may have no, minor, or major consequences for your entire credit rating.
Given that lenders pay careful attention to your credit score and report, it makes sense to make sure yours is clean and correct!
I’ll teach you how to dispute any kind of mistake on your credit report in the sections below.
Why is it important to know your credit score and report?
Lenders evaluate your three-digit credit score and credit report whenever you seek for credit to establish your creditworthiness.
Your credit score is calculated using the information on your credit report, and the higher your score, the greater your chances of qualifying for credit at a reasonable rate.
In general, you should pay your bills on time, utilize credit responsibly, and follow these top personal financial recommendations to establish a strong credit record.
Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, the three main credit agencies, are required to give you with one free copy of your credit report every 12 months if you request it.
AnnualCreditReport.com makes it simple to get all three.
CreditKarma is one of many financial services companies that provides free access to your credit score on a regular basis.
Typical credit report blunders
When reviewing your credit report, these are some of the most frequent mistakes to watch out for.
1. Incorrect personal information: Your name, date of birth, current and previous residences, job information, and social security number may all be incorrect (SIN).
2. Inaccurate status updates: It may indicate late payments even if you have always paid on time. There may be issues with your account balances and credit limitations as well.
3. Out-of-date information: An account that has been closed may be reported as open.
4. Identity theft: Your report may include information from someone else. While this may just be a mistake, you want to make sure your identity hasn’t been stolen and your SIN isn’t being used fraudulently.
5. Negative information on your credit report may stay on your credit report after the statutory 7-year term has passed.
How to Dispute a Credit Report Error
If you’re like me and check your credit report for mistakes on a regular basis, you may avoid the inconveniences of a stolen identity or being turned down by a prospective lender if you move quickly.
Here are the actions you’ll need to follow to fix those annoying credit errors:
Step 1: Get in touch with the credit bureaus.
You may submit a free formal dispute with the credit agencies under the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and they are required to examine your complaints within 30 days.
Send a note to the credit bureau in question, detailing the mistakes and asking that they be corrected or removed if needed.
Provide copies of papers that back up your allegations, such as bank statements, lender letters, identity theft police reports, bankruptcy schedules, and other court records.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has an example letter available here.
You may also file a complaint online. My personal suggestion is to write them a letter in the mail as well as fill out the online dispute form.
The following are the phone numbers for the three major credit bureaus:
With your contribution, you should always include any necessary personal information that verifies your identity. Your complete name, address, social security number, date of birth, and a copy of a government-issued ID are all required.
Send your letter to the credit bureau through registered mail so you may be sure it was received.
Step 2: Make contact with the source of the information.
Creditors, such as banks and credit card firms, provide information to credit reporting bureaus.
Contact the creditor (information source) and request that the information they give to the credit bureaus be verified and corrected.
Provide as much information as possible regarding your issue, as well as any supporting papers.
Step 3: Be patient and wait for an answer.
Credit bureaus usually react to complaints about credit reports in 30 days or less.
If you don’t hear from them within this time frame, give them another week or two and then follow up.
If the information you’re contesting is incorrect, we’ll make the necessary changes and provide you a free updated credit report.
You may notice an improvement in your credit score within a few weeks, depending on the severity of the mistake and its effect on your credit score computation, assuming everything else remains constant.
What happens if your disagreement isn’t resolved?
The information you’re disputing may be confirmed as correct by the credit bureaus or information source and therefore stay on your credit report.
You have a few choices in these situations:
- Submit a second dispute to the credit bureau, along with sufficient evidence to back up your allegation. Credit bureaus may dismiss your challenge as frivolous if no new information is supplied.
- Request that your credit file be updated with a “explanatory statement.” This is your chance to “share your side of the story” with this statement. While it has no bearing on your credit score, it is sent to any creditor who wants a copy of your credit report.
- Make a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Prepare to hire a lawyer.
It’s critical to check your credit report on a regular basis for any mistakes that may jeopardize your financial well-being.
If errors are discovered, get them rectified as quickly as feasible.
The how to dispute credit report on credit karma is a resource that will help you dispute errors and correct inaccuracies on your credit report.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you dispute accurate information on credit report?
I am not sure what you mean by dispute accurate information on credit report.
Do you have the right to correct discrepancies on credit report?
Yes, you have the right to correct any errors on your credit report.
Are errors on a credit report easy to fix?
In most cases, errors on a credit report can be fixed with the proper information.