Credit Report RepairWe don't quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing. - Ernest Holmes
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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.

Credit Report Errors


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

  • Additional information about repayment of a loan
  • Good credit standing you have with companies or organizations which have not reported this
  • An increase in your salary

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.

Hire a Professional

You can correct errors in your credit report yourself. But the process can be difficult, time consuming and frustrating.

If you would prefer to use a professional service, Lexington Law has been helping consumers repair their credit errors since 1991:
Lexington Law

Contact all three credit bureaus

  • Equifax (800-525-6285)
  • Experian (888-397-3742)
  • TransUnion (800-680-7289)

Contact them in writing, spelling out the information which is wrong or incomplete. Use certified mail. Unless they consider it a frivolous dispute,

  • They must investigate, usually within 30 days. If the reporting organization does not respond in 30 days, by law, the item must be removed from your report. However, the reporting organization sends them information every 30 days. If they have not corrected their records, they will resend the same inaccurate information.
  • They must forward all the information you sent them to the person, company of organization which provided them with the information.
  • When the person, company or organization receives a notice about a dispute, they must investigate and report back to the credit bureau. If they decide that you are correct, they must notify all three reporting companies so your report can be fixed.

After the investigation is complete

The reporting company must contact you in writing with the results.

  • If you are correct, they must provide you with a free copy of your report. This report does not count as you annual free one.
  • If you are correct, the disputed information cannot be put back into your file unless, at a later date, it is found to be accurate and complete.
  • The credit bureau must provide you with the contact information (name, address and phone number) of the information provider.

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?

7 Years:

  • Accurate negative information
  • A lawsuit or judgment against you (This can be over seven years if the statute of limitations is longer.)

10 Years:

  • Bankruptcy

No Time Limit:

  • Criminal convictions
  • Your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 per year.
  • Your application for more than $150,000 credit.
  • Your application for more than $150,000 life insurance.

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

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