When learning to fix credit report errors, the first step to repairing bad credit is to get a copy of your report. You can dispute any derogatory information that isn’t accurate or complete.
Getting that information removed from your reports will leave you with an accurate representation of your past financial behavior, good or bad. From there, you can start creating a new history of on-time payments and smart financial decisions.
Start by securing a copy of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus. The fastest way to do that is to visit annualcreditreport.com, and that’s the only way to get the free credit reports that you’re entitled to by federal law once a year.
You can’t fix credit report errors if you don’t have a thorough look at everything listed on all three reports, so order all three at once. You may want to print them out to make highlighting or otherwise marking errors easier.
Look through those credit reports and highlight any inaccurate or incomplete information.
The 12 most common inaccuracies that you may dispute include:
If you have documentation that shows account balances and other details, you can verify the information on your credit report rather quickly. If you believe there is an error, it may take more work, but you don’t have documentation to prove it.
You can file credit report disputes without documentation, but it’s worth the effort to find something in writing that backs up your claim.
The credit bureaus want to maintain accurate records, so they allow you to easily dispute every error you find on your reports and fix credit report errors. All three are moving towards online disputes and making it easy to submit your documentation without mailing anything, but you can still use certified mail if you prefer. (Note: Find Out How We Do Disputes That Get Results Call 866-416-1686)
Some people choose to dispute credit report errors through certified mail because they want to receive a response from the credit bureaus in writing when they are trying to fix credit report errors. Others find online responses acceptable because they can print out the response for their records.
If you choose to file by mail, include copies of documentation rather than original documents. File certified mail and receive a notification when the letter is accepted.
In addition to filing a dispute with each credit bureau that features inaccurate information, you want to send your dispute letter and documentation to each person providing the erroneous information to the credit bureaus. You can see that entity’s name and contact information on your credit report.
For personal information like name misspellings, you don’t need to know who reported that information to have it removed. If you can prove it’s incorrect, the bureaus will remove the incorrect versions from your reports.
If you choose to dispute credit report errors by mail, you can create one dispute letter that includes a list of all inaccurate information. You don’t have to file a separate letter for every inaccuracy.
You can file all of your online disputes at one time as well, and you should never have to pay to dispute a credit report error.
Include the following information in your credit report dispute letter:
Online credit agency dispute systems allow you to fix credit report errors faster because you don’t have to type out an actual dispute letter. You fill in information fields, allowing the credit agency to guide you through the information needed to process your request.