Fixing Credit Report Errors Quickly And Simply

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Human error is an unfortunate reality of life. Despite all efforts to maintain and closely guard a robust credit report, mistakes happen. No one is above it, nor can they insure fool-proof escape: People make mistakes, even in lines of work where the reputation for accuracy is paramount.

You may have trekked through all the necessary steps to a healthy credit report and assume you have a spotless credit history, but without checking on your credit report, you could be very mistaken.

Since credit history is so essential to financial security, a mistake can just as quickly crumble your reputation as irresponsibility.

Without keeping an eye on your credit, you remain blind to what your report says about you.

Three Steps To Fixing Any Error

If a mistake is found, it can be devastating. Even if the ding to your credit score is not serious, errors – especially errors that have not been found and dealt with quickly – can escalate over time.

For example, if an account is listed that’s not actually one of your credit lines, it could indicate that someone has stolen your identity. The initial reporting may not be for large sums of money and may not drop your score significantly, but stolen identities can rapidly spiral out of control.  

Here are the measures you can take to protect yourself.

Step One: Contact The Credit Bureau

Credit Bureaus are required to initiate an investigation into any claim of a reporting error within the timeframe of 30 days.

When contacting the bureau that had the documented error, make sure to have:

  • Your identifying information (name, address, telephone number, report confirmation number, account numbers)
  • A brief, but thorough report of the error, including why you are disputing the error and a request for the error to be fixed
  • Documentation to back up your dispute

It is also prudent to check with the other credit bureaus to see if the error is in their records as well.

Contact Information For The Big 3:Equifax

Phone: Phone number on credit report or (800) 864-2978

Online: www.ai.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation

Snail-Mail: Click here to download the dispute form

Mail the dispute form with your letter to:

Equifax Information Services LLC

P.O. Box 740256

Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian

Phone: Phone number on credit report or (888) 397-3742

Online: www.experian.com/disputes/main.html

Snail Mail: Use the address provided on your credit report or mail your letter to:

Experian

P.O. Box 4000

Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion

Phone: (800) 916-8800

Online: www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes-alerts-freezes.page

Snail-Mail: Click here to download the dispute form

Mail the dispute form with your letter to:

TransUnion Consumer Solutions

P.O. Box 2000,

Chester, PA 19022-2000

While reporting errors online or by phone may be simplest, one of the benefits of snail-mail is the ability to have accurate and complete documentation of what communication took place. Make sure to keep the originals and copies of every correspondence, regardless of how it took place, and consider the benefits of certified mail.

It is also prudent to check with the other credit bureaus to see if the error is in their records as well.

Step Two: Contact The Reporting Company

Make sure to also contact the company that initially reported the error to the credit bureau in question.

You should provide them with the same information provided to the credit bureau.

Remember to be precise and thorough – specifics are essential for correcting credit report mistakes.

Step Three: Make Sure The Error Is Resolved

Make sure to also keep documentation of all attempts to rectify the situation. If you mail your disputes, consider sending them certified and save the certified mail receipts that show the bureaus and reporting company having received your dispute. Consumer lawyer Leonard Bennett says, “The big three [TransUnion, Equifax, Experian] consistently lose or claim to lose consumer correspondence.”
Take control over your financial stability and keep up with your credit report. Know what is being reported about you and ensure its accuracy. The first step to financial freedom is responsibility. Don’t be passive; take action.

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By Quizzle. Helping You Make Better Financial Decisions.