We have discussed the importance of checking your credit reports for accuracy with each of the three credit reporting agencies (CRA)—Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union—every year. Errors on credit reports are not uncommon, but to correct them, you need to figure out where the misinformation came from. It is usually from one of five main sources.
Five Sources of Credit Report Misinformation
Various groups have access to your credit report and an error can occur with any one of them. There may be data entry mistakes, another person’s information, or outright fraudulent information on your credit report. Any of these mistakes can negatively affect your credit rating, so it is important to track down the source and correct the error. Possible sources of the error include:
Creditor. Creditors furnish the CRA with information about your loan, payment history, and your identity. If this information is entered incorrectly by the creditor, it will be wrong on your credit report. Sometimes, information from the creditor’s database doesn’t merge correctly with the CRA’s database, which can result in errors as well.
Misidentification. If a creditor enters your name incorrectly, or enters an unofficial version of your name such as Sam instead of Samuel, your information could be merged with another person’s and their credit information could end up on your report.
Collection agency. When your debt is handed over to a collection agency, the agency has the ability to add your collection account to your credit report. In an attempt to scare you into settling your debt, they may intentionally enter incorrect or incomplete information.
Credit reporting agency. Like with the creditor, the CRA could incorrectly merge your information with someone else who has a similar name or Social Security number.
Public records. CRAs will go through court files and other public records to get information about you. If these agencies have the wrong information, or if the CRA fails to follow up on the outcome of a court proceeding, false and misleading information could end up on your credit report.
Correcting Credit Report Errors
As soon as you find an error on your credit report, you should send a dispute letter to the CRA The addresses for Experian, Equifax and Transunion can be found on our website. The letter should include key identifying information and a detailed description of the error. Any documentation you have to support your claim will be helpful as well. If you have any trouble correcting the error, contact the Consumer Law Group through the form on this page to discuss your case.