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How to Fix Errors on Credit Report?

Checking your credit reports on an annual basis can be a great idea. But how to fix errors on your credit report if you find any?

A study done by the Federal Trade Commission found that 25% of all consumers have an error on their credit report that negatively impacts their credit score. There’s a good chance that your reports have one or more errors.


The study also showed that 80% of those that challenge items on their credit report could get at least some of the negative information altered or removed. That’s great news! But how to fix these errors on your credit report?

How to Handle and Fix Errors on Your Credit Report

It’s essential to monitor your credit reports at least yearly. That way, you’ll regularly be able to spot and handle any mistake that occurs on your credit report that could adversely affect you.

Using this process will help you find errors on your credit report and correct them.

Go through the report with a fine-tooth comb

When you receive a copy of your credit report, please sit down and take the time to review it. Consider it an essential part of your financial goals to find out what your creditors are “saying” about your financial life.

Look at each item

Carefully check each entry to spot any listings that don’t look familiar. If you don’t remember an item, make a note out in the margin, like “What’s this?” or “I didn’t apply for this loan” and stuff like this.

Take the notes to examine everything thoroughly later to know precisely where you are spending your money.

Notice names of companies and financial institutions

Are there any you haven’t heard of? If so, put an “X” by them so you can look up the names on the internet. An unfamiliar name may well be the name of a company that is known by various names.

  • Consult your own financial records. If the company still sounds unfamiliar, pull your own financial records for the year in question. Perhaps you’ll see some record of what you did that will refresh your memory regarding that part of your report.

Call the credit bureau where the report originated

If you can’t resolve or figure out a particular listing on your report, contact the bureau that issued the statement. Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union each offer customer service and might be able to assist you. Make sure you know all items you took notes about before.

Contact the company that you believe has made false claims against you

Try to resolve the situation with the entity directly and insist they make the proper changes to the credit bureau to correct your information. Leaving wrong information will affect your credit score.

Place a fraud alert on your credit report

Suppose your identity was stolen or any of your banking accounts or credit cards were inappropriately used by others. In that case, you should contact the agency where you received your credit report and follow their steps to place a fraud alert on your credit report.

  • This way, the agency will monitor your account extra closely to ensure your privacy and security and might even inform you of any action as it occurs on your account under your name.

Do your homework

Learn more about credit reporting from the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

Maintain records of all your correspondence. Make copies and keep those copies filed in an organized manner. Be sure to keep track of dates.

9 Steps to fix Errors on Credit Report

Follow this process to fix errors on credit report

Get copies of your credit report from the three major bureaus.

You can get a free copy of each report each year from AnnualCreditReport.com. In addition, if you’ve recently been rejected for credit, you’re also entitled to a free copy of the report containing the derogatory information.

Get your official credit scores.

It would be a shame to do all this work and not know how much of an effect your efforts had on the metric that matters the most.

Find and record all the errors that are harming your credit score.

Some people decide to simply challenge all the negative information, whether it’s accurate or not.

Write a dispute.

If you are unsuccessful in resolving a credit issue with a creditor, you can formally dispute the claim.

You do this by phoning the credit bureau that produced the report. You can also contact the credit bureau online to fight the claim there. State you want to dispute the claim. You’ll likely have to explain why.

Your dispute can be straightforward. Provide enough information that the credit bureau can identify you and the item you’re disputing. In general, it’s most effective to declare that you were never late or that the account isn’t yours.

Mail your disputes and request a return receipt.

The credit bureau is on the clock from the time they receive your complaint. If they can’t complete their investigation within 30 days, they must make the changes you requested. Include only one dispute per letter.

The credit bureaus would love for you to file your dispute online. It saves them money and helps to automate the process. However, receiving your letter is much more cumbersome for them. So send your complaints via snail-mail.

Watch the calendar.

Their response should be postmarked within 30 days of receiving your letters.

Evaluate the responses you receive back.

It’s likely that some of your disputes will be found in your favor. But, unfortunately, it’s also expected that some will not. One credit bureau has been known to give you what you want without investigating at all simply!

Continue disputing all the negative items.

At the end of the day, credit bureaus exist to make money. They make money by selling credit reports, not by dealing with consumers. Your disputes cost them money. With a bit of diligence, you’re likely to get your way, so be persistent.

Consumers have historically done well when suing the credit bureaus.

It’s difficult for them to verify the information in your credit reports truly. If you’re not satisfied with the results, consider filing a claim in small claims court. Credit bureaus get fined $1,000 per infraction. You’ll likely settle out of court and get your credit report cleaned up.

How to fix errors on credit report: Sum UP

Fixing the errors on your credit reports is simple, but it does take time. It’s important to check your reports every year. The cost of credit reporting errors can be staggering, as they can dramatically increase your interest rates on any loans you receive.

Your credit report should be an accurate reflection of your financial life. Therefore, go through your credit report and scrutinize each entry. Take notes of entities issuing information about you and then peruse your financial records to support any claims you may use as you go through this process.

Stay on top of your credit reports so you can correct errors right away. Protect your credit and identity by obtaining your credit report at least yearly and following up on questionable data.

Request your credit reports today and spend the time to examine them carefully. Consider making it a part of your annual financial housekeeping. Always Make sure you manage your finances correctly to get a good credit report with no errors.

Written by Abdallah Taleb

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