How do I seek correction of errors in my credit report?
If you are one of those who has found inaccurate information in your credit report, it’s important to understand that it may not be not your fault. Thanks to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the credit reporting company and the information provider are responsible for fixing inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. Your responsibility, however, is to reach out and work with these entities to ensure that your report is an accurate representation of your financial situation.
The first step in trying to correct errors in your credit report is to write a letter to the credit reporting company detailing the information you believe to be inaccurate. Clearly describe each item in the report you’re disputing, include the facts and details of why you’re disputing the information. Be sure to include copies of the documents that support your statements.
It’s a good idea to send your letter by certified mail, return receipt, so you can prove they received the letter. Also, make sure to keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures for your own records. Keep in mind that credit-reporting companies are required to investigate items in question within 30 days and they must forward all relevant data to the party that provided them the information. Once the provider receives notice of the dispute, it must investigate the claim and send its findings back to the credit reporting company.
If it is found that the disputed information is incorrect, the information provider must inform all three nationwide credit bureaus, so they are able to fix the information in your file. Once the investigation is finished, the credit reporting company is required to provide you with a written copy of the results and a complimentary copy of your credit report, which should reflect the changes made. It is also mandatory for the company to forward you written document that includes the name and contact information of the information provider.