Q: How can I correct errors found in my credit report?
A: If you find errors in your credit report, you may dispute the information and request that the information be deleted or corrected. To do so, you should contact either the credit bureau that provided the report or the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau.
To contact the credit bureau, call the toll-free number on your credit report or visit their website:
- Equifax www.equifax.com/answers/correct-credit-report-errors/en_cp
- Experian www.experian.com/disputes/
- TransUnion www.transunion.com/corporate/personal/creditDisputes.page
To contact the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau, look on your credit report, in an account statement, or on the company’s website for contact information for handling such disputes.
When disputing information on your credit report, you should:
- Provide information about yourself, such as your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number;
- Identify specific details about the information that is being disputed and explain the basis of your dispute;
- Have a copy of your credit report that contains the disputed information available; and
- Provide supporting documentation, such as a copy of the relevant portion of the consumer report, a police report, a fraud or identity theft affidavit, or account statements.
Q: What happens once I send in information to correct information in my credit report?
A: If you submit your dispute through a credit bureau or directly to the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau, your dispute must be investigated, usually within thirty days. If you provide additional information during the thirty-day investigation, that investigation period may be extended an additional 15 days in some circumstances. When the investigation is completed, either the credit bureau or the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau must give you the written results of its investigation.
If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide credit bureaus so they can correct the information in your credit report. You can get a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. This free report is in addition to your annual free report. If an item is changed or deleted, a credit bureau cannot put the disputed information back in your credit report unless the company or person that provided the incorrect information to the credit bureau verifies that the information is, indeed, accurate and complete.
You can request that the credit bureau send notices of any correction to anyone who received your report in the past six months. A corrected copy of your report can be sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.
Q: What if an investigation does not resolve my dispute?
A: If an investigation does not resolve your dispute, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your future credit reports. You also can ask the credit bureau to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past, but you may have to pay a fee for this service.