Mistakes & Disputes

Reasons for mistakes on your credit report

  • The individual has applied for credit under several different names
  • Someone made a clerical error in entering information
  • Mix ups with common names.
  • The individual gave an inaccurate Social Security number or the number was misread by the creditor.
  • Loan or credit card payments were inadvertently applied to the wrong account.

No matter what the reason, the erroneous information could reflect poorly on your credit file, thus causing approval problems when the time comes to apply for a job or obtain a mortgage. If you find errors, no matter how small, be sure you get them fixed, and make sure that you contact all three credit bureaus with your change.

If you do encounter a mistake on your credit report, several steps need to be taken to correct the matter:

  1. The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major bureaus annualcreditreport.com
  2. In a written letter or online, tell the CRA (Credit Reporting Agency) what information you believe to be inaccurate. Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position. Provide your complete name and address, identify each item in your report you dispute, and request deletion or correction. Be sure to make copies of your dispute letter and enclosures.
  3. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the CRA received.
  4. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates that all CRAs reinvestigate the items in question — usually within 30 days.
  5. If the disputed information is found to be inaccurate, the credit card company must notify all nationwide CRAs so they can correct this information in your file. Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file.
  6. When the reinvestigation is complete, the CRA must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change.
  7. In addition to the CRA, you should also write to the credit card company about the error. Again, include copies of documents that support your dispute.

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