Your credit report contains valuable information about your life. It lets potential lenders, employers and insurance companies know how you pay your bills, whether or not you have filed bankruptcy and whether you have been sued or have a lien against you. It also provides information about previous and current addresses, employment and more.
Three major companies gather and sell this information. Called credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies, the three firms are the TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. As you can imagine, this information is vital. It can impact your life and auto insurance rates, determine whether or not you get hired for your dream job or can buy a new home.
Since this information is so valuable, you probably think that it is kept accurate. However, credit report errors are widespread. According to the Federal Trade Commission data from 2013, 13 percent of consumers have errors in their reports that affect their credit score.
Example of a Consequence of a Credit Report Error
Credit reporting errors can be a nightmare. WSB-TV in Atlanta reports how one consumer was reported as being deceased by one credit agency. This created all kinds of problems for the consumer. He needed to finance hearing aids, but could not do so because of the error in his report.
If you have an error in your report, you are probably wondering how to dispute credit report. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to remove wrong things from your report yourself. Sometimes, consumers fight for years to have mistakes removed. Many people get to the point where they just give up because the credit agencies don’t want to remove the inaccurate information.
WSB-TV reported about a consumer, Julie Miller, who was awarded more than $18 million by a judge after she sued Equifax for multiple errors in her report. She spent nearly two years fighting to fix the problem—all to no avail. She finally consulted a lawyer who helped her sue and get the judgment.
If you have errors on your credit report, don’t give up. There are ways that you can the problems fixed.
Does Disputing Credit Report Work? How Can You Fix Errors?
You might be wondering, “does disputing credit report work?”
Yes, it does. You don’t have to live with the red marks. Disputing the information is useful when you follow the proper steps.
Why You Should Not Dispute Credit Report Online
If you do find an error in your report, you can dispute it. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a law that was enacted by Congress that requires that the credit reporting agencies, such as TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, conduct a reasonable investigation if a consumer disputes information on their credit report.
The problem is that many consumers never dispute the information. If they do challenge it, they often do it online, which is not the best course of action to getting information removed.
Disputing inaccurate credit report items is easy. Just follow these steps:
- The first step in disputing something on credit report is to obtain a copy of your free credit report from the three reporting agencies. You can order a free report once every 12 months from annualcreditreport.com. You are also entitled to a free credit report within 60 days of being denied credit.
- Next, pore over your report. Check to ensure that all information is correct. Examine current and past addresses, employment history, social security number, creditors and payment information. Highlight any mistakes that you notice.
- Next, it is best to send a separate letter to each credit reporting agency to challenge the information. Hire an FCRA lawyer to help you draft the letter. An attorney knows how to dispute credit report successfully.
- Mail the dispute letters to each agency. It is best to mail them via certified mail so that you have proof that they were sent.
- Follow up with your FCRA lawyer about the outcome of your dispute.
Know How to Dispute Credit Report Errors
If you have been denied credit because of a mistake on your credit report, don’t worry. A qualified FCRA lawyer can help you repair your credit by disputing incorrect information on your report. Cleaning up your credit report can help you improve your score and receive better offers on insurance, loans and more.
If you do not know if your credit report is free of errors, follow the steps carefully, and you will be able to go through all the steps by yourself in the future. If you have tried and still need help, call a credit report dispute lawyer. It is better to ask for help then having a credit report filled with inaccurate information.