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What To Do If Your Credit Report Contains Inaccurate Information

Review your credit report once you have a copy. Review the information to check that it accurately shows how you have paid your bills and also check if all the accounts shown are yours. This is where you will find some signs of identity theft, like new accounts that were opened in your name without your knowledge or permission. Make sure to identify accounts that you no longer use and do not need and make a note to close them.

If you do find an error in your credit report, you have the legal right to dispute it. Review the Fair Credit Reporting Act FCRA. You should immediately contact the credit reporting agency in writing to advise them of inaccurate and/or incomplete information that appears in your credit report. You may refer to your credit report for specific instructions on how to dispute information that is in your file. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures (receipts, sales slips, billing statements and the like), and to send your letter by certified mail "return receipt requested." This is key. Always keep a paper trail.

The credit bureau is required by law to investigate your complaint within 30 days, per the FCRA, to send you a prompt response in writing, to correct or delete any inaccurate information, and to send you a copy of your report if the investigation results in any change.

Because creditors for the most part automatically update credit bureau information once each month, it is possible that incorrect information removed from a credit bureau file could reappear because of pending creditor updates; So you should continually review your credit report to confirm that it is accurate and up-to-date.

If the credit bureau's investigation does not resolve your concerns, you are entitled to submit a brief statement (100 words or less) about the issue. The credit bureau must attach this statement to your credit report. This enables you to provide your side of the story to lenders, potential employers or anyone else who sees your credit report.

If you are denied a loan, insurance, employment, etc,. based on your credit report, the law requires the company to tell you the reason for the denial and the name of the credit bureau that supplied the information. You should then be advised to then investigate your credit report for incorrect or incomplete information. If something is incorrect or incomplete, begin the process of correcting it immediately. Don't wait!

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