Disputing Credit Report Information
The information in your credit report can affect many areas of your life, so it's important to keep track of what's in it. If you find information that is incorrect for any reason, it's your job to dispute that information in order to have it removed from the report. Only you are looking out for your own credit rating, so it's to your advantage to pay attention to your report.
There are actually three credit reports: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. Monitoring all three of these credit reports is essential because the information can differ from report to report.
Follow this process to ensure your credit reports are accurate:
1. Request your credit report. The fastest way to get a copy of your credit report is to visit AnnualCreditReport.com, where you're entitled to receive a copy of each of your three reports for free once per year.
2. Verifying information accuracy. Comb over all three credit reports carefully in search of incorrect or inaccurate information. Any detail that isn't right should be changed, even if it's just a wrong address, because these pieces of information can have an impact on how lenders view you.
3. Contact the credit reporting agency. If you find information that needs to be changed in your credit report, the next step is to contact the agency in charge of that specific report. It can take some time to dispute incorrect information, so the sooner you begin, the better.
4. Writing a dispute letter. You can find sample dispute letters online that will give you a good starting point for writing this letter. Be professional and include all of the necessary proof that the information is incorrect so the credit agency can make the change.
6. Add accounts to your file. If not all of your credit accounts are being reflected on your credit file, then you may want to ensure that missing information is added. You can achieve this by contacting the companies that aren't reporting your credit history and asking them to begin reporting for you.
The power is in your hands to keep your credit report in good standing. If there is inaccurate information in your credit report, or if important information is missing, then take the steps to get the information corrected. Your next job, home, or loan may depend on it.
Increasing Financial Awareness and Building Financial Stability