A credit report details your credit information, including your payment history and timeliness, the status of your credit accounts, the amount of credit you have, how much credit you are using, and any amount a debt collector may be trying to collect. Lenders use credit reports to help them decide whether they will offer you a loan, at what interest rate, and to determine if you meet their lending requirements.
Consumers are entitled to request a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit reporting companies by using www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228.
Be careful of websites that claim to offer free credit reports. Many of these sites require you to buy products or services in order to receive your “free” report.
If you notice incorrect information on your credit report, here is how you can dispute the error:
- Fill out a dispute form.
- Each agency has specific instructions on how to fill out the dispute form and what additional information will need to be provided. This information may include your full name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth.
- Explain clearly each error and why you are filing a dispute.
- Include a copy of the portion of your credit report that contains the incorrect information.
- Provide any copies of documents that support your dispute. Do not send originals.
- Keep a copy of your submitted dispute for your records.
Contact information and dispute forms for the three main credit reporting agencies:
Contact the company directly that reported the information to the credit reporting agency:
- Send a certified letter explaining clearly each error and why you are disputing the information.
- Include a copy of the portion of your credit report that contains the disputed items.
- Provide any copies of documents that support your dispute.
- Keep a copy of your dispute for your records.
Once your dispute is received, the credit reporting agency will investigate your claim:
- If it is found that an error has been made, the credit reporting agency will remove or correct any inaccuracies. At your request, the credit reporting agency will send a corrected copy of your report to those who may have received the incorrect version within the past six months. If you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation, you can file an explanation with the credit reporting agency that will become part of your credit report.
If you have a complaint against a credit reporting agency, you may file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).