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How to Dispute Credit Report Errors

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Authored by Kate Beswick in Credit Card 
Published on 07-27-2009

If you are trying to maintain a good credit history, or want to start fixing a poor credit history, the chances are that you have already obtained a copy of your credit report. Your credit report is a report that includes all of your personal information as well as your credit history. If you have ever borrowed money from a bank, used a credit card, or been late on monthly payments, the chances are that it’s in your credit report. Getting this copy of your credit report is the first step in establishing a good credit history. And making sure the information contained within it is accurate is the second most important step. Carefully review everything in your report, and if it contains inaccurate information, be sure to correct it right away.

If after inspecting your report, you find that there is inaccurate information contained within it, you need to notify the credit bureau immediately. You will need to send them a written letter stating your name, your address, any information relating to an account with them, and the item you are disputing. If you can, also include a copy of your credit report with the disputed item circled. This will bring their attention immediately to it and will show them exactly what it is you are disputing.

You will also need to include proof that you have reason to dispute the item. For example, if you are disputing that you still have a balance owing with a credit card company, include bank statements that show you have paid the amount in full. It’s very important to remember that you keep all original documents for your own records and that you only send copies of the documents to the credit bureau. When you have all of your copies gathered and are ready to send the packages, be sure to send it by certified mail and that you ask for a return receipt. This will ensure that your packages get delivered to where they should and that you can start clearing up your credit as soon as possible!

Once the credit bureau receives your dispute, they have 30 days to send the information to the party that made the credit claim originally, and complete their investigation. Once they have done so, they will respond to your dispute in writing, also within the 30-day time limit. The credit bureau will explain briefly about their investigation and will include the findings of the investigation. The report will also explain whether any change was made to your credit report and if so, a copy of the new report will be included.

If your dispute was valid and your credit report was changed, you have the right to ask the credit bureau to provide a new report to any companies that have asked for it within the past 6 months. This can be done with all credit bureaus and if you have inaccuracies in one, the chances are that they appear in all 3. This is why it’s so important to get a copy of your report from every credit bureau and make sure that all of them are accurate and up to date!

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