Your Guide to Disputing Errors on Your Credit
Report under the FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides consumers with the right to dispute any inaccuracies they might find in their credit reports. If you spot an error, it's vital to take steps to correct it, as this data significantly impacts your ability to obtain credit, insurance, or employment. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can dispute inaccuracies on your credit report.
Obtain Your Credit Reports: To spot any errors, you first need to obtain your credit reports. Remember, you are entitled to a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — once every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com. Following COVID, free reports are available weekly from AnnualCreditReport.com
Review Your Credit Reports: Carefully review each section of your credit reports for inaccuracies. These could be payments marked late when you paid on time, accounts that don't belong to you, incorrect credit limits, or even outdated information.
Collect Evidence: If you find inaccuracies, collect any evidence that supports your claim. This might include bank statements, payment records, or correspondence with the creditor.
Contact the Credit Reporting Agency: Write a formal dispute letter to the credit reporting agency that displays the error. Include your full name and address, identify each item you dispute, explain why you dispute the information, and request deletion or correction. Send this along with copies (not originals) of your supporting documents.
Contact the Information Provider: In addition to the credit bureau, also send a dispute letter to the company that provided the inaccurate information (the information provider). They also have a responsibility to correct inaccurate information.
Wait for the Investigation: Once a dispute is submitted, the credit reporting agency typically has 30 days to conduct an investigation. They will forward your evidence to the information provider, who will then review it and report back. If the provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, they must notify all three nationwide credit reporting agencies so they can correct the information in your file.
Review the Results: After the investigation is complete, the credit reporting agency must give you the results in writing and a free copy of your credit report if the dispute resulted in a change.
Remember, inaccurate or erroneous information in your credit report can affect your credit score, impacting your ability to obtain new credit or leading to higher interest rates. Therefore, it's crucial to dispute any errors you find.
If you need assistance disputing an error on your credit report or if your dispute wasn't resolved to your satisfaction, our law firm is here to help. We can guide you through the process and ensure your rights under the FCRA are protected.