Errors on your credit report could affect your chances of getting a loan or credit card. It may also affect how much interest you pay.
Reviewing your credit report for inaccuracies and disputing any errors can lead to a better score. If you find anything wrong with your credit report, here’s what you should do.
Get your credit report
If you need a copy to review, you can request a free credit report from each major credit bureau – Experian™, Equifax®, and TransUnion® – through annualcreditreport.com. You may also subscribe to a credit monitoring service; however, it will cost you for a monthly report.
Look for common mistakes including:
- Identity errors such as name, phone number, or address.
- A closed account still reported as open.
- A mixed file containing another consumer’s account information. This may happen when you and someone else have the same or similar names.
- Inaccurate credit limits.
- Inaccurate account balances.
- The same debt listed multiple times.
- An account incorrectly labeled late or delinquent.
Dispute the information with credit bureaus
If you spot an error, start by disputing the information with the credit reporting companies. Explain in writing what is incorrect, why, and include documentation such as copies of bank or loan statements to support your dispute. Your dispute letter should include:
- Contact information including name, address, and phone number.
- Report confirmation number.
- Identifying each error such as an account number.
- An explanation why you are disputing.
- A copy of your credit report that contains circled or highlighted disputed items. Remember to include copies and not the original report.
Remember to always keep copies of everything you send.
You may decide to mail your dispute to the credit reporting companies via certified mail. Make sure to request a return receipt for your records. Check with each credit bureau for full details on what information you must provide and complete dispute process.
Dispute the information with the furnisher
Contact the company, or furnisher, that supplied the incorrect information. This may include entities such as a bank, a landlord, or utility company. Write a letter disputing the errors and include your name and address; the inaccurate information that needs fixed with explanation; and copies of supporting documents. Send your letter to the specific furnisher’s address.
Investigating your dispute
Credit reporting companies will investigate, send documents to the furnisher, and report the results to you in writing. If they determine your dispute is frivolous, the credit reporting companies can choose not to investigate by written notices within five business days.
If the furnisher corrects the information, they will notify the credit reporting companies to update your report.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with Adirondack Bank. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. Adirondack Bank is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the information provided or the content of any third-party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. Adirondack Bank makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.