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How to Correct Errors on Your Credit Report

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incorrect answer on report on cellphone

Some credit reports contain mistakes. Common causes of inaccuracies include mistaken identity, old information not being dropped from the report on time, and identity theft. If you see an error on your report, take action to correct it:

  • Dispute the information with the credit bureau – Send a letter to the credit bureau or fill out an on-line dispute form letting them know what information is incorrect. While you are not required to provide documentation to support your claim, if you have any, such as a canceled check for a bill that still shows as outstanding, it helps to include it. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit bureaus to investigate all disputes, unless they are frivolous, and respond within 30 days. While the bureau is doing research, they must report that the item is being disputed on your credit report. The credit bureau must delete the disputed information if they cannot find evidence to validate it and, if you request it, notify anyone who recently received the report of the change.
  • Dispute the information with the creditor – If the credit bureau’s investigation results in no change to your report and you believe the information is still inaccurate, contact the creditor directly to see if they will remove the information from your credit report and request documentation of the debt. If they cannot provide it, let the credit bureau know. Only verifiable debts can be reported.
  • Add a statement to your report – If contacting the credit bureau and creditor does not resolve the dispute, you can add a brief statement (100 words or less) to your credit report. Adding a statement will not boost your score, but anyone who pulls your report will know your side of the story.

Beware Credit Repair

Some companies claim to “repair” credit reports, often for a very high fee. At best, the company is charging you for something you can do yourself for free – writing a letter to the creditor bureaus disputing inaccurate information. At worst, the company is engaging in dishonest and/or illegal tactics.

If you have any questions about your credit score or if we can help you in any way, please contact Member Services at 804-323-6800 or 800-285-6609.