A person’s credit score indicates how credit-worthy and financially responsible they really are. A credit report is usually sourced from the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies, which includes Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. However, the big three are not immune to errors and major flaws, and according to credit experts, these three agencies incur error rates ranging from 20 to 30 percent, although some of the errors may be as simple as reporting the wrong month of a delinquent account. Nevertheless, any simple credit report errors may still have a damaging on the person’s credit score, which can result in the individual getting rejected for a much-needed credit line. Here are five ways for disputing discrepancies in your credit report.
Order a Copy Of Your Credit Report From The Big 3 Credit Agencies
The first thing to do is to order a copy of your credit report directly from each, or any of the three major credit agencies. Don’t get your credit report from third-party agencies, because chances are you could be disputing errors or flaws that don’t even exist. According to the US Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the major credit agencies are responsible for correcting or reducing any flaws and errors in their credit reports. The FCRA therefore, enables you to directly contact these credit reporting agencies, and formally relay your disputes or complaints.
Make Sure Each Report Is Not Past The 7-Year Limit
Once you get a copy of your credit report from the major credit agencies, compare each of the reports, and ensure that these are not past the seven year limit for reporting of any errors or negative information. Also determine if the status and delinquency dates are not incorrectly noted.
How To Dispute Any Errors You Find
Once you personally find any discrepancies or flaws, you can dispute these through filing your complaint online, as well as by writing a letter to the specified credit agency. While sending your dispute on the Internet may be much faster, it only offers you limited options to explain your reasons. However, if you write a letter, make sure you limit it to around 100 to 150 characters, or 30 words, to directly state your case. To file your dispute online, visit the agency’s Web site, and look for the “Dispute” option. Enter your identifying information, and proceed to state the dispute. In sending disputes by mail, find the agency’s official mailing address, which is usually located near the end of your report, and include your name and address, report number, as well as the account numbers you’re disputing.
Once you receive a copy of your credit report from any agency, the agency is normally given 45 days to send the results of your dispute. But if you paid for your report, the agency will usually deliver this to you in around 30 days. Once you spot any errors or inconsistencies in your credit report, it’s important that you question and dispute all those inaccuracies, and never assume that something is correct, just because it’s reported by one of the major credit reporting agencies.