If you have not checked your credit report recently, chances are that there are errors on your report that you do not know about. Out of the 200 million credit reports on file with the major credit monitoring bureaus, experts estimate that nearly 25% of them contain errors serious enough to affect the person’s credit score. Fortunately, it is possible to fix errors on your credit report by having the bureau reporting the information correct it. Here is what you should do to fix errors on your credit report.
Review Your Credit Report Carefully
The first step is to find out exactly what has been reported in your credit report. The federal government has mandated that each consumer is entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three largest credit monitoring bureaus to see what it being reported on them. Obtain your free credit report from each of these bureaus and review them carefully for any information that you believe is incorrect. If you do find errors, see if you can find any proof that an error has been made, such as old account statements or copies of sent checks.
Contact The Reporting Credit Bureau
Once you have determined that an error has been made, you must contact the credit bureau reporting the information and inform them of the mistake. You will need to fill out a separate dispute request for each credit bureau using the information provided on the website on how to properly submit a dispute. The bureaus are legally obligated to investigate any dispute that is submitted to them and inform the consumer of the final decision made after the investigation is completed.
Monitor The Process
After the dispute has been submitted, you must monitor the process to ensure that everything is going the way that it should and that no unforeseen issues occur unnoticed. Within a 30 day time period, the credit bureau should have concluded their investigation and informed you of whether the information will be removed, corrected, or remain as is on your credit report. If the outcome is not satisfactory, you can request that a statement of the dispute be included on your credit report, although you will be charged a fee for this service.
If you truly believe that there is a significant error on your credit report and the credit bureau refuses to fix it, you should seek professional help to get the situation resolved. Many companies that specialize in credit repair can provide you with inexpensive legal assistance that may be able to fix the errors using methods available under the law that you may not be aware of. Be sure to use a reputable company to avoid becoming a victim of an even greater financial issue in the future.
Join our newsletter
Subscribe to get the latest "Engineer Your Finances" content via email.