|Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error. - Andrew Jackson|
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Fix Credit Report Errors
It is possible to find errors or omissions in your credit report. Correcting these items could improve your score 100-200 points. So it is worth the effort. Here is what you do.
Look for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Be sure to check the spelling of your name and that your address and previous addresses are correct.
Look for negative items which should have been removed. There are limits to how long these can stay on your report. See below for more about this.
Look for accounts which are not yours and accounts or loans which show an inaccurate balance or a balance due even though they have been paid off.
The law requires that you be allowed to add information to your credit report which you think will help your credit score. Things to consider are
Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that both the reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) and also the person, company or organization which gave them information must correct inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report. If you see anything in your report which is incorrect or missing, contact both the reporting company and the one who gave them the information.
You can get the errors or omissions corrected yourself, but the process is complicated and time consuming. Don't be afraid to try it. But if you find the task intimidating or if you've tried without success, you may want to look into using a company which specializes in fixing credit report errors.
Here's what you need to do.
Contact all three credit bureaus
Contact them in writing, spelling out the information which is wrong or incomplete. Use certified mail. Unless they consider it a frivolous dispute,
After the investigation is complete
The reporting company must contact you in writing with the results.
The Information Provider (Person, Company or Organization)
Write to the information provider and tell then that you dispute what they reported. Use certified mail. They may have a specific address for disputes. Call them and ask.
If they gave the information to a reporting company, they must tell the company that you dispute it. If you are correct, they are not allowed to provide that information again.
What If They Won't Correct the Error?
If you are not satisfied with the results of the investigation, this is what you do:
Experian, Equifax and TransUnion
Tell them to include a statement reporting your dispute in your file and any future credit reports.
Tell them to provide a copy of your statement of dispute to anyone who has received your report recently.
They may charge you a fee to do this.
The Information Provider
Tell the company, organization or person who provided the incorrect information to include a notice of your dispute anytime they report to Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.
How Long Can the Reporting Company Keep Negative Information?
No Time Limit:
To report fraudulent, deceptive or unfair business practices
Call toll free 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357). TTY: 866-653-4261 or
Report it at ftc.gov
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