What do you do if you find a mistake on your credit report?
Everyone makes mistakes, even credit bureaus. If you find a mistake, it's easy—and important—to get it corrected.
What do I do if I find a mistake on my credit report? So, you’ve reviewed your credit report and found an error. Uh-oh. Now what? Well, you are not alone. No. There’s a lot of information from a lot of different sources that make up your credit report. So errors can and sometimes do happen.
So what do you do? Your first step should be to contact the credit bureau regarding the error, send a letter to the credit agency, or fill out the online dispute form explaining the error and requesting an investigation. Plainly state the facts. Explain why you don’t agree with the information, and request the information be either deleted or corrected. And if you have them, reference any receipts or paperwork you have, and make sure you save them. You may need to provide copies. The bureau should then contact your creditor for their side of the story, and determine the correct course of action. If the credit bureau can confirm the disputed entry within 30 days, they are required to delete it.
If your dispute is successful, and the error is corrected or removed, you may want to ask that anyone who has requested to see your credit report in the last six months gets a new, updated and corrected copy.
Now, if your dispute is not successful, and the error remains on your report, you can request that you be allowed to add a remark on your credit report, explaining your side of the story. Even if negative items are true, you can still make things better. If the entry refers to an unpaid debt, pay it off if you can, or contact the creditor to discuss payment options.
Most bad entries will eventually fall off of your report after 7 years, giving you the chance to demonstrate your new, improved financial habits. So, since you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every year, it’s a good idea to check it and make sure it’s accurate. Head to www.annualcreditreport.com to get yours.
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