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How to Dispute Credit Report Errors

Your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. This information is then sold by consumer reporting companies to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. The law requires the information in such files to be kept accurate and up to date.

For many people, it can be advisable that they periodically review their credit report.

But why?

  • Because the information it contains affects whether you can get a loan—and how much you will have to pay to borrow money.
  • To make sure the information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date before you apply for a loan for a major purchase like a house or car, buy insurance, or apply for a job.
  • To help guard against identity theft. That’s when someone uses your personal information—like your name, your Social Security number, or your credit card number—to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new credit card account in your name. Then, when they don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. Inaccurate information like that could affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job.

How to correct errors on your report

Inform the consumer reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your report you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request that it be removed or corrected. You may want to enclose a copy of your credit report with the items in question circled.

Consumer reporting companies must investigate your complaint in good time and endeavor to correct errors that have been brought to their attention. If they fail to do this, you should complain to the Department of Trade and Industry. For this purpose, only ever send copies and not originals to the credit reporting company and keep records and recorded postage receipts incase you need to bring the complaint further.

A lot of important things will depend on your credit report so it is imperative that it is kept accurate and up to date. Do not accept errors on your report.

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