How to Dispute an Item on a Credit Report

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Detecting credit report errors is necessary to maintaining a high credit rating. Inaccuracies are commonplace. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the population underrates the value of careful credit report monitoring. Certain errors are trivial, and easily corrected. On the other hand, if you become a victim of stolen identity, proving your innocence is tough.

Challenging a credit report error calls for persistence. Although credit reporting bureaus urge consumers to check their reports annually, they are somewhat slow with investigating credit report errors.

In their defense, credit reporting bureaus receive tons of inquires on a daily basis. Thus, time may pass before you are given a response to complaints. Still, do not give up in your attempt to remove credit report errors. Inaccuracies have several repercussions from higher rates on loans to credit denials.

Get a Free Personal Credit Report: Copies of personal credit reports are available from the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You may request a copy of your report by writing to the bureau or visiting a local credit report agency. Reports are affordable. For as little as $45, consumers may obtain copies of all three reports. Credit reports are also available online.

Keep An Open Eye for Unfamiliar Accounts: Credit reports are ideal for early detection of identity theft. Once obtaining a copy of your report, meticulously examine the information listed. Credit reports include detail credit history such as current and old accounts, outstanding balance, account status, collection accounts, etc.

While examining the report, circle any information that appears suspicious. Outstanding account balances may be a little off. Some creditors do not report to the bureaus each month. However, if an account balance is off by several hundred dollars, contact the individual creditor and request an updated report.

Disputing Credit Report Mistakes: When disputing a credit report error, a few credit report errors can be corrected by simply contacting the creditor that reported the inaccurate information. By law, creditors must investigate any complaint. If they admit to reporting wrong information, you may request that the creditor submit a correction to the credit reporting agencies.

If you come across a problem creditor that is unwilling to look into a complaint, contact the three credit bureaus in writing. By doing this, the bureaus will begin their own investigation. In the meantime, you have the option of including a written response on your credit report. This way, any potential lenders reviewing your credit report can view your side of the story.

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