We have discussed the importance of checking your credit score to make sure the information is correct. But, what happens if you find incorrect information?
Inaccuracies on Your Credit Report
A mistake on your credit report can be as simple as an incorrect spelling of your name or an incorrect address. But, you may find more serious problems to address. Credit bureaus should only be reporting accurate and current information.
Can I Fix Problems On My Own?
To dispute inaccuracies you will first need to obtain your credit report. Be sure to check the reports from all major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Some information may vary because not all creditors report to every bureau. Once you have the information that needs to be removed, you will need to file disputes.
How Do I File a Dispute?
You can make the dispute on the company website, over the phone, or by mail. Keep in mind that you will need to provide personal identification, what information is incorrect, as well as the correct information. If you have any supporting documents, include those as well.
Equifax Disputes: https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-dispute/
Experian Disputes: https://www.experian.com/disputes/main.html
Transunion Disputes: http://www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/creditDisputes.page
Next, wait 30 days. The bureau has 30 days to investigate. A dispute notation will show up on your report. During this time, the creditor will have time to verify the information. However, if they cannot prove it’s accurate, the bureau will stop reporting it. Once the investigation is completed, you will receive a written report. The report will include bureau’s findings. Also, it will include an updated copy of your credit report if any changes were made.
Generally, removing inaccuracies is simple. If the investigation results in no changes, write a letter to the creditor explaining why the information is incorrect and that you want them to report the correct information. Include copies of supporting documents, if any. The creditor may not report unproven information.
Finally, write a letter of explanation to add to your report, if the situation does not get resolved. Briefly, explain your side of the credit problem. Write clearly, include supports facts, and send it to the bureaus to be attached to your report. This statement could make a positive impact on whoever is reading the report.
But, I’m Not Sure What Can Be Removed
First, not all items can be removed. Credit bureaus are required to report all credit and debt information. S0, you need to know what can be removed. Here is a list of removable information:
Wrong Information. If the report lists incorrect information, you can have it permanently removed from your record.
Duplicate information. An account may show up multiple times. However, you may only want it listed once. If this occurs, it may prevent lenders from believing you have more debt. Or, they may think you have more credit problems than you actually do.
Old, negative information. Often, negative information will not haunt you forever. Your credit report may show lawsuits, judgements, liens, foreclosures, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, late payments, and charged-off accounts for seven years.
Need Some Help?
We are here for you! Call us today if you live in California to set up a free consultation. Let our office help you improve your credit score and address credit report inaccuracies. If you are outside of California, please contact a qualified professional attorney in your area.