What the FTC Says About Disputing Credit Report Errors

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) clearly states that consumers have the right to protect themselves against unfair credit reporting by creditors and credit reporting agencies.  For this reason, you must regularly check your personal credit report score to make sure that it contains accurate information.

Why is it important to correct errors in your report? When applying for a loan, a creditor would first check the applicant’s credit history before approving application.  Errors in your report may cause you to have a lower credit score than your actual credit standing.  As a result, your application may get declined unnecessarily.

Where Erroneous Details Come From

Why do credit reports become erroneous?  Each year, many consumers send credit repair letters to the bureaus to request corrections for different reasons.  Sometimes, a creditor may incorrectly report paid debts as unpaid to the bureaus.  There are also instances when the credit bureaus themselves commit mistakes in recording information.

If you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft, chances are your identity have been used to acquired debts that you did not owe and these charges would be reflected in your report. The good news is that errors can be corrected to improve your credit score.

Checking Your Credit Report

Consumers can order a copy of their report for free by visiting the website set up by the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Visit www.annualfreecreditreport.com or call its customer service number at 1-877-322-8228.  You can also print the Annual Credit Report Request Form online, fill it out and mail it to: Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

Who else are eligible for a free copy of credit report?  According to the FTC, consumers who have been unfairly denied credit, insurance or employment; who are unemployed and plan to seek employment within the next 60 days; or who have been a victim of fraud or identity theft are all entitled to obtain their credit reports, free of charge.

If you simply want to check your report, you can order a copy at $10 per bureau.

Disputing Credit Report Errors

How can you correct errors in your report? You can do so by sending a credit dispute letter to the credit bureaus through registered post mail. Point out the information in dispute and briefly explain the facts why you think they should be corrected.

Don’t forget to enclose photocopies (NOT ORIGINALS) of documents that support your claim. Upon receipt of your credit dispute letter, it may take up to 30 days for the bureau to complete its investigation on the matter. Afterwards, you will be sent a letter of response including an updated copy of your credit report for free. The other credit bureaus will also be notified about the corrections made in your file.

 

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 © 2010
 

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