Your credit report can have an impact on your ability to secure a home mortgage, a car loan, obtain a student loan and even have an impact on your ability to land a job. These are some of the reasons why it is so important to verify the information contained in your credit report is accurate.
How Often Are Credit Reports Wrong?
A study that was conducted by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) in 2012 showed that nearly 26 percent of the 1,001 participants had at least one error on their credit report which was considered “material”. Overall, they estimate that as many as five percent of all consumers could potentially have inaccuracies on their reports. This means an inaccuracy in reporting payments or other information which can have a negative impact on your credit score.
How Do I Identify Inaccurate Information?
All consumers should request their credit reports from the three major credit reporting bureaus at least annually and certainly after they have been denied any form of credit. Consumers who have not been denied credit are allowed to request a free copy of their credit report from all three credit bureaus at least every twelve months. This process can be done online through a website set up between the FTC and the credit reporting bureaus, specifically AnnualCreditReport.com. Consumers may request their reports online or may request them by mail.
Credit Report Inaccuracies and Remedies
Correcting inaccurate information is a two-step process. The first step is writing a dispute letter and providing copies of documents that support your position. You should also keep a copy of the dispute along with the documents you are sending for future reference. The dispute letter along with the documents should be filed with all three credit reporting agencies.
Step two involves the creditor. In addition to submitting your dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies, you should also send copies to the company filing the incorrect information.
The credit agency is required to start an investigation on your claim and begin verifying with the creditor. Any issues that are found to be legitimate must be corrected. In addition, you may request that anyone who has received your credit report in the six months prior to the error being identified receive a clean copy.
To file disputes with the credit companies, use this information:
Equifax Disputes All disputes with Equifax are handled online.
Experian Disputes All disputes with Experian are handled online.
1-800-916-8800 TransUnion Disputes 2 Baldwin Place, P.O. BOX 1000 Chester, PA 19022 TransUnion Disputes
There is no need to let credit report inaccuracies prevent you from getting a job, an apartment or securing additional credit. Contact the Law Offices of James C. Shields for help if you are facing challenges with inaccurate information remaining on your report.