Many people who have found inaccuracies on their credit reports feel a little unsure about how to correct them. While they probably know that errors in a credit report can affect many aspects of a person’s financial life, it just isn’t always clear how to take appropriate steps to fix the problem. In some cases, people don’t even know that there is a problem until they’ve already felt the consequences of the damage to their credit.
If you have noticed an error on your credit report, you should know that it’s fairly easy to get started on fixing it. Here are 3 steps you can take right away:
- Make sure there is an error. Before you take more formal steps, it’s important that you verify that the information is truly inaccurate. Look carefully at your credit report, and make note of what you think is wrong and why. Credit reporting agencies don’t have to take “frivolous” claims seriously, so it’s very important that you double-check before moving forward.
- Use a sample letter to report the error to the credit bureau. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers detailed information about disputing information in a credit report. They recommend that you first start with their sample letter to a credit reporting company. This notifies the credit bureau of the error and your wish to correct it. You should include details about what information you think is incorrect, why it is incorrect, and formally ask that it be removed from your credit report or corrected. The FTC also suggests enclosing a copy of your credit report with all the incorrect information circled.
- Notify the creditor that furnished the inaccurate or incorrect information on your credit report.The credit reporting company will investigate and forward your dispute to the company that provided the inaccurate information to them, and that company must investigate your claim and return a response. If that company agrees that the information is inaccurate, it will correct the error and send the corrected information out to the nationwide credit reporting agencies.You can also use the sample letter template above to notify specific creditors of incorrect information reported to credit bureaus, which can help you move forward if the company continues to report incorrect information about you.
While it is permitted, we do not recommend disputing an error with the credit reporting agencies via phone, e-mail or text, since the credit reporting agencies may claim they never received your dispute, or it may claim the information you gave was insufficient.
We Can Help When These Steps Don’t Fix the Problem
If you have gone through these steps and are still unable to get a resolution, you don’t have to give up. The skilled attorneys with The Consumer Law Group have experience helping people assert their rights against large companies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and we can help you decide if filing a lawsuit might be the right decision for you. For more information, or if you have questions about how to dispute information on your credit report, you can contact our legal team at 804-282-7900.