Correcting Your Credit Report
This step-by-step guide shows you the best way to correct inaccurate information on your credit reports. First, check the expiration dates of the records. Next, customize our sample dispute letter and send your correction to the credit bureaus. Keeping your credit reports accurate can be that simple!
Step 1: Look for inaccuracies
Order your credit reports and credit scores from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion online. Print each report and review it carefully. Highlight any inaccurate information and negative records that could be harming your credit scores. Check when the negative records are set to expire using this guide:
You should use this expiration information to determine what items on your credit report are really inaccurate. Along with expired records, look for fraudulent accounts, crossed records, and data errors on your report.
Step 2: Write a dispute
Once you have determined exactly what is inaccurate on your credit reports, it’s time to write a letter of dispute to the credit bureaus. You will need to send a letter to each of the three credit bureaus to have the information investigated and corrected on each of your credit reports. Even though all three bureaus now offer online disputing, it is a good idea to still write your dispute in letter form for your records. You can use this template to put together your dispute letter:
Step 3: File a dispute
Submitting your dispute by mail is best, but only Equifax and TransUnion allow this kind of dispute. Experian requires all disputes to be submitted online. For phone or online disputes, you may need to provide the identification number located at the bottom of your recent credit report. Using the information you put together in Step 2, submit your dispute to each of the credit bureaus:
Step 4: Track the results
The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your dispute and make changes to your credit report. Once this investigation is complete, they will send you a letter that includes information about what was and was not updated on your credit reports. If you were unable to get an error corrected, try submitting your dispute again with new documentation. You can also try working directly with the company that reported the error to have the matter corrected. Once you receive notification that an error has been updated or removed from your credit report it is a good idea to do a final credit check to confirm that the changes have actually been made to your satisfaction.
A high credit score often equals savings on loans and credit cards.
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