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How to Correct Incorrect Information In Your Credit Report

Although it is becoming more and more uncommon that incorrect information is contained in a credit report, it is still possible. If incorrect, incomplete, or outdated information is in your credit report, it can significantly effect your score. First to identify in your credit report is incorrect information because it may be evidence of fraud. If you do find evidence of fraud, contact the credit reporting bureaus immediately. You will be asked to explain the situation and also complete a police report if the issue is fraud.

1. Contact the credit reporting company

When you contact the credit reporting agency that is reporting the item in question, be sure to have a printed copy of your credit report. Read more about how to obtain your free annual copy of your credit report.

When you submit your dispute information regarding the incorrect information, the credit reporting agency will review it. All supporting documentation should be copied and sent (send the copies) to the credit reporting agency.

The information furnisher (the company that reported the incorrect or inaccurate information) will complete its own investigation and then report back to the credit reporting agency. After this investigation is complete, the credit bureau reporting agency will then make changes to your credit file and notify you of any changes made.

2. Contact the Information Furnisher Regarding the Problem

If you have verifiable evidence that information is in fact inaccurate or incomplete, then the dispute resolution process should not take long at all. If the creditor finds that the disputed information is in fact incorrect, the furnisher is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to update its records both internally and with the credit reporting companies to which it reported the disputed information within 30 days.

Be sure to follow up phone calls with a letter. It is best to get as much information in writing as possible. Include your name, account number in question, dollar amount in question, and your substantiating reason for the dispute.

3. Contact other Credit Reporting Agencies

If odds are not in your favor, you may need to obtain a credit report from other credit reporting agencies (i.e. Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). If inaccurate information is contained in one credit report, it could be likely that it is in other credit reports. If it is you will need to follow the same dispute process.

4. Assure that disputed information is quickly corrected

Within 30 days (45 days if based upon your annual free credit file), the credit reporting company should notify you of the results of its investigation. Be sure to get a new copy of your credit report to make sure that the inaccuracies have been corrected and / or removed.

If the disputed information has been corrected, you can request the credit reporting company to notify anyone who received a credit report with the inaccurate information in the past six months (two years in the case of employers) of any corrections made.

5. What If You Cannot Resolve Disputed Items?

According to the FCRA, you have the right to file a statement with the credit bureau, which will be inserted in your credit file and is free of charge, detailing the parameters of the situation. Each time a credit report is requested, this statement will be included for as long as the disputed item(s) are in your credit file.

If it is truly inaccurate information, you may need to contact the correct authorities which will enforce the rules of the FCRA. Read more about this in Unscrupulous Companies and Reporting Requirements.

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