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Credit Report Dispute
Your credit report may contain errors or other entries that you feel don’t belong on the report. It may make note of a debt that has been charged off in bankruptcy, or a debt that has passed the 7 year mark and should have come off your report automatically.
If this is the case, you need to file a credit report dispute with the credit bureau that is reporting the information. Remember that in most cases, the credit bureaus do not share information, so you’ll need to deal with each of them separately if the erroneous information appears on more than one report.
The first step is to inform the credit reporting agency, in writing, that you have found inaccurate information. State your full name and address and identify the item on your credit report. Enclosing a copy of the report with the item circled is the simplest method. Include copies of the documents that support your position. NEVER send original documents.
In your letter, explain why you dispute the information, and politely ask that it be removed. Remember, the credit bureau gets its information from your creditors, so unless it’s a simple data entry error, they are not to blame.
Be sure to make and keep copies of everything you are sending, then send your letter by certified mail with a return receipt request, so that you have proof that your letter arrived safely in their hands.
Credit reporting companies are obligated to investigate your credit report dispute within 30 days, unless the dispute is seen as frivolous. They must also report your dispute, along with copies of all supporting documents, to the company that provided the information.
If the information provider finds that they did indeed make a mistake, they are obligated to inform all three reporting agencies and place the correct information in your file.
When the investigation into your credit report dispute is complete, the credit reporting company must send you the results in writing. If your dispute results in a change to your credit report, they must give you a free copy of your credit report. This will not count as your free annual report.
In addition to contacting the credit reporting company, let your creditor or other information provider know, in writing, that you dispute an item. Again, include copies of all supporting documents and send your letter by certified mail, with return receipt requested.
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