Your credit report is very important, especially if you are planning to apply for future loans, credits, etc. Vital information about you, your financial capabilities and responsibilities can be found in your credit reports. Credit reporting companies sell these information to potential lenders, creditors, employers, and other service providers which in turn use these information to determine whether you are qualified for your application or not.
It is common to find errors in your credit report, which is why it pays to check and re-check information reflected in your reports. Errors in your credit reports can be disputed because it can damage your status. Some may think that you can no longer change what is already reflected, but it is your right to correct errors in your credit reports.
Ensuring and checking information in your credit report periodically will not only help you keep data truthful and save you from damages you might incur, but also protects you from identity thieves. Identity thieves obtain critical information in your credit report and can use it to open a new accounts in for their financial gain. They will, of course, not pay the bills, so the damages will reflect on your report in the end.
You are covered by law and by the FCRA or the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA is designed to help you ensure that all things reflected in your credit reports are truthful, reliable and accurate. Here are some ways to dispute discrepancies:
Check your Credit Report
One of the amendments of the FCRA requires credit reporting companies such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian to provide their customers with a free copy of their credit report upon the client’s request once a year. Periodically checking your credit report keeps you well informed of the updates regarding your account and the information included in it.
Collect Documents that will Support your Complain
You have to prove your dispute and presenting supporting evidences can further strengthen your argument regarding the discrepancies in your credit report. You may present receipts of payment and other such proof that an item on your report is not accurate.
Create a Dispute Letter
Write a letter addressed to the credit bureau and the company that forwarded the report to the bureau. Encircle errors or specifically mention discrepancies in your letter and include your supporting documents in the process. The bureau and the company are legally responsible and obligated to investigate your complaint.
Follow up your Complain
The bureau and the company will investigate in 30 days after you send them your letter and they are obliged to give you a feedback after this. If not, you have the right to follow-up your dispute and ask for an explanation about the ongoing investigation.
If in case they have already responded to your letter and did not take any action, or you are not satisfied with the result of their investigation, you have the right to demand an explanation. If they cannot provide a satisfactory explanation and prove that your dispute is not valid, then you can escalate the issue with the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General.