This is a step by step guide that will give you the tools to fix inaccurate information on your credit report. First you need to check when the information being reported is set to expire. Next use our customizable dispute letter, and sent it to the Credit Bureaus. It is really that simple.
Step 1: Look for incorrect information being reported about you:
Order a current copy of your credit report with scores from all 3 Bureaus online. Print your credit report and view it carefully. Make note of any information that is not correct. Determine when the information is set to expire. This guide will help you determine if and when the negative information on your credit report will expire.
a.Bankrupcties- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will expire from your report after 10 years of file date. Chapter 13 will expire from your report after 7 years from file date.
b. Judgements- Court ordered decisions stay on your credit report for 7 years from file date. Example: child support, civil and small claims court.
c.Tax Liens- Tax liens stay on your credit report until you pay it off. Once you have paid the tax lien, it will stay on there 7 years from paid date. This applies to City, State, and Federal tax liens.
Charge –off – records- this record will show up on your credit after a creditor has wrote off the debt as a loss. This will remain on your file for 7 years.
Inquiries- Records of application for credit. These types of inquires usually stay on credit for a maximum of 2 years. Checking your credit online with credit sores does not damage your credit like these inquires do.
Closed Accounts- This information whether negative or good stays on your credit report for 7 years.
Collection Accounts- This record should expire after 7 years from the last 180 day late payment that led the account to collection to begin with. The expiration date is the same even if the collection is sold multiple times.
Foreclosure Records- Foreclosure and property deed-in-lieu records remain on credit for 7 years from foreclosure date.
Late Payments- Late payments stay on record for 7 years.
Repossession Records-Vehicle repossessions stay on you credit report for 7 years.
Use this expiration information to determine what should not be on your report. You should also check for information that is being reported on there that is not yours. Also make sure there is no information that are cross records either.
Step 2: Write Dispute Letter
Once you have determined what is not correct on your report, it is time to write you disputes to the Bureaus. You will need to send the letter to each of the credit bureaus via certified mail.
Example dispute letter:
Your NameMailing AddressCity, State, Zip
Re: Disputing Inaccuracies on My Credit Report
Name of Credit Reporting Bureau Mailing Address City, State, Zip
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing for two (2) reasons:
1. To dispute certain information in my credit file; and
2. To have you investigate/re-investigate and remove inaccurate information from my Credit Report and prevent its re-insertion. The item(s) I dispute are encircled on the attached copy of the credit report and further identified by (identify the items by name of source, such as creditor or tax court, etc. and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.)This item is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or whatever specific change you are requesting) to correct the information.(If you are enclosing documents such as copies of canceled checks, payment records, court documents, send copies only, you should always retain the originals — and use the following sentence.)
Enclosed are copies of the following documents supporting my position?
Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed items within the time frame required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and inform me in writing of the outcome. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Step 3: File your dispute
Submitting your dispute by mail is the suggested way, but only Equifax and Transunion allows this kind of dispute. Experians requires all disputes to be submitted online.
Here is the 3 Credit Bureaus information.
P.O Box 740256
Alanta, GA 30374-0241
2 Baldwin PlaceP.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Step 4: Manage Results
The 3 Credit Bureaus have 30 days to investigate your dispute and update your credit report if the dispute is valid. Once they have investigated your concern, they will send you a letter stating what was updated on your credit report. If you were not able to get a inaccuracy fixed you will need to resubmit your dispute with new documentation.