Correcting errors in your credit report should not be a complicated task. However, you do need to know the correct steps so you can get the results your after. Keep in mind that all consumers have the right to dispute errors in their credit reports as stated in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Furthermore, the three major credit bureaus are mandated by the Federal Law to respond to consumer disputes. On this post, we present the step-by-step procedure on how you can correct wrong details in your credit report:
Claim your free annual report. According to the FCRA, all consumers are entitled to receive one free report from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You can request for your free annual credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com – the only resource authorized by the government to distribute free credit reports to consumers.
If you have already received your free report for this year, you can still order copies of your credit report directly from the three major credit bureaus for a fee of $9 to $12. It is recommended that you check your personal credit report at least twice a year to make sure that all information it contains are accurate.
Check your report for errors. As soon as you receive a copy of your report, check each of your accounts to make sure that all charges are correct. See to it that all your past payments have been accurately reported. In case you notice unfamiliar charges in any of your accounts, you should dispute them by sending a letter to the bureau that issued your report.
What other information can be corrected? Don’t forget to check your personal details to make sure that the spelling of your name is correct. See to it that all the details under the Personal Section category are correct. You should also keep an eye on any outdated information that still appears in your report. For example, if you have a record of bankruptcy or foreclosure that happened seven years ago, you should request the bureau to remove such negative remarks from your report.
Send a letter of dispute. If you discover errors in more than one account, you should send a separate credit dispute letter for each account to make sure that all your complaints will be given attention. A letter of dispute need not be lengthy. You do not need to include an elaborate explanation as to why you think the items are incorrect. The most important thing is to point out the items than need to be corrected.
Enclose a photocopy of your credit report with the errors encircled or marked. You should also enclose copies of documents or receipts that support your claim, especially when disputing paid charges that still appear as unpaid in your credit report. Make sure that you enclose photocopies, not the originals of the documents. Send your dispute letter via registered post mail to make sure that it will reach the credit bureau.
After sending your letter, you may need to wait up to 30 days before the investigation is completed. In case you do not receive any response from the bureau, be prepared to send a follow up dispute letter with your original dispute letter enclosed.
About the Author:
Suzy Vanstrusen is a credit analyst and a writer on the website EZCreditRepairSolutions.com. She has been providing consumers with tips and wise information about credit repair as well as helping you out more with your bad credit loans. Copyright © 2011