How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit Report

Credit report with score on a desk

From opening your first credit card account or financing your dream car to getting a mortgage for your first home, there are plenty of milestones in life that require a good credit score to get approved and secure desirable rates. Before you start applying, it’s smart to take advantage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which entitles you to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. But what happens if you discover an error on your report? You can (and should) dispute it immediately. Here, Xpress Cash covers the necessary steps to do so.

How to Dispute Your Credit Report

Your credit report shows potential lenders a significant amount of personal information extending far beyond your financial habits. It tells them whether you’ve ever been sued or arrested, whether you’ve ever filed for bankruptcy, and more. These are serious accusations, and you certainly wouldn’t want to just leave them on your report if they were wholly untrue. 

If you do uncover an error, don’t panic. Rather than frantically searching for advice on “dispute error on credit report,” simply follow the step-by-step instructions laid out below:

  1. In writing, tell the credit reporting company in question what information you found to be inaccurate. Unsure of what to say? The FTC provides an excellent sample dispute letter you can use as a guide. Your letter should include your complete name, address, and other contact information, as well as a clear outline of the item(s) you believe to be false and why you’re disputing it. Be sure to enclose copies of any documentation that supports your position.
  2. Next, you should contact the company that provided the false information to the credit bureau. Again, in writing, let them know you’re disputing an error found on your credit report. There is a separate sample letter you can reference for information providers. Within it, you should again include your contact information and clearly state the item(s) you are disputing and why, being sure to enclose copies of the documents that support your position.

What Happens Next?

The information you’re disputing is usually reviewed by the credit reporting company within 30 days. They’re required to forward all relevant data you provided to the company that originally provided them with the information. After receiving the dispute, the information provider must investigate and review the relevant information, then report back to the credit reporting company. If the item(s) you disputed are found to be false by the information provider, they must notify all three major credit bureaus so that the information can be corrected in your file. 

Upon completion of the investigation, the credit reporting company must send you the results in writing, along with a free copy of your credit report if a correction was made. (This free copy does not count as your one free copy per year.) If you’d like, you can also request that the credit reporting company send notices of corrections to anyone who received a copy of your report in the past six months. Additionally, if it relates to employment purposes, you can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who received a copy in the past two years.

Turn to Xpress Cash for Additional Help!

Have lingering questions surrounding “how do I fix an error on my credit report?” Xpress Cash is here to help! Contact us or visit one of our Michigan locations to speak with a member of our friendly staff today.