Your credit report is used to evaluate your application for credit, insurance, employment, and renting a home. Your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you’ve been sued or arrested, and whether you’ve filed for bankruptcy. This is why it’s so important to make sure this information is accurate and current. Monitoring your credit can also help you spot identity theft.
Credit report errors are actually very common, with some studies suggesting up to 25% of reports containing serious errors such as:
- outdated personal information;
- incorrect or fraudulent accounts;
- liens or judgments that do not belong to the consumer;
- and incorrect account information.
An even greater number of credit reports contain smaller mistakes. Mistakes on your credit report can be very costly: along with causing you to pay higher interest rates on loans, you may be denied credit, insurance, a rental home, or a loan because of these mistakes.
If you need to dispute credit report information that is inaccurate or incomplete, contact our consumer law offices today for a free consultation.
Checking Your Credit Report for Mistakes
Credit report errors are very common. Up to 70% of all consumer reports contain mistakes, and 26% of these errors are serious enough to have an application for housing, employment, or credit denied. It is very important to check your credit report at least once a year to identify and correct any mistakes — and detect unauthorized activity. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from all three major bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — once every 12 months. You can learn more about obtaining your free credit report here, or visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
How to Dispute Credit Report Errors
Under the FCRA, credit bureaus and the information provider (or the company or organization that provided the information about you) are responsible for correcting incorrect information in your file. After identifying mistakes or incomplete information on your report, you can take the following steps to dispute them.
Gather documentation to support your dispute
To dispute the error, it is best to provide supporting documentation with your claim. For example, if a collection account appears on your file even though you paid the debt in full with the original creditor, you should submit a statement showing the pay-off with your dispute.
Dispute mistakes with each bureau
If you find a mistake in your credit report from a credit reporting agency, the next step is submitting a dispute directly to the credit bureau. You may dispute mistakes online or through the mail.
It is recommended that you send a certified letter rather than relying on the online system because you are afforded the opportunity to include supporting documents and leave a traceable paper trail. In the dispute letter, enclose a copy of your credit report with the mistakes circled or highlighted. Include copies (never originals) of documents supporting your position. Always send this letter by certified mail with a return receipt requested so you have a record that it was received. The letter should include the following:
- Your full legal name,
- Your date of birth,
- Your Social Security number,
- Your current mailing address,
- A brief description of the problem,
- A list of the items/documents you are including,
- A copy of your credit report with the mistakes highlighted.
The Three Major Credit Bureaus
By mail: Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
By phone: (800) 864-2978
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
By phone: (888) 397-3742
TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
By phone: (800) 916-8800
Remember: always keep a copy of both your dispute letter and any documents you enclosed.
Send a dispute letter to the original creditor or information provider
It is also a good idea to dispute the mistake with the source of the mistake as well. If the company corrects the information following your dispute, it is required by law to notify the credit reporting agencies of the updated information. This credit dispute letter should include the same information as the letter to the credit bureau.
What Can Be Disputed?
Technically, anything on your credit report or credit history may be disputed. However, credit reporting companies will only investigate and delete items the law requires them to delete.
You can dispute any items on your credit report that are outdated, inaccurate, incomplete, or that you believe cannot be verified. Negative items, with the exception of bankruptcy, can only appear on your credit file for 7 years. Bankruptcy may remain on your report for 10 years. If you have negative entries that are still on your report past this time, you can dispute them. Other items that may be disputed include:
- Payments reported as late that were paid on time,
- Accounts that do not belong to you,
- Inaccurate credit limits, loan amounts, or account balances,
- Inaccurate creditor listed,
- Inaccurate account status, such as an account reported as past due that is current.
What Happens Next?
Credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond to your dispute, or 45 days if you provide additional documentation during the investigation. If they do not respond during this time frame, you may have the right to sue. After your dispute is investigated, the credit reporting agency must give you the results of the investigation in writing. The credit reporting agency may immediately delete the information that has been disputed, but they reserve the right to reinsert deleted items if they are later verified.
If the dispute resulted in a change to your credit report, you should be provided with a new copy of your credit report. You can also request the bureau send a correction notice to any company that has accessed your credit file in the last six months. If you are not satisfied with the resolution, you also have the option of submitting a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If the credit reporting agency does not correct the inaccurate information in your credit report, contact Mike Agruss Law for further help.
Contact Us Today!
If you need assistance with a FICO score dispute, credit reporting, or other problems involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We can help you dispute errors on your credit and any inaccurate information, and both the credit bureau and business which supplied the inaccurate or incomplete information will be responsible for correcting it.
5 years ago
I wanted to rent a house after renting in apartments the last 9 years and the realtor did a credit report and Remington Place Apartments thinks I owe them $816??? They are crooks! They change managers like I change my underwear. They lost neighbors' checks. I do not owe them a dime! Please clear this. I have always been on time with my rent in the past 20 years. How dare they!
have a letter from Diversified Consultants re: Comcast billed me for non return of their box. I shipped it via UPS and gave them the numbers. I remail this info to them but they continue with there collection methods this has been going on since last Nov now this is affecting my credit rating I am a six month snow bird meaning Illinois and Florida Nokomis Florida currently Aurora IL in the summer fine I would much prefer email as my hearing is impaired!
hi, My name Kenneth, I did a voluntary Repo on a brand new 2000 Kia Sophia back in 2003, because my car was a lemon, after doing my Repo I went to court in 2005 and was mandated to pay $25.00 a week. Which I started to do, Then stopped once I realized that the also added interest. They started garnishing my wages September 2007 at $25.00 a week. My repo car at the time was resold for $4000.00. I tried to call the collection agency to end the collection and was told that my account was bought in 2013 and they have no information on what was paid prior to them buying my account nor would they forfeit the information of who had my account prior. I have paid more than what the car was brand new at this time. I disputed my case on Credit Karma and it list my case as close. Please assist me in getting to the bottom of this. I am being robbed!
Two years ago I made a very bad decision - took $4000 in payday loans to help a relative - long story - they didnt get paid back - and it started a long chain of interaction with these companies. I started getting calls - and I have tried to make arrangements to pay. However - they have been sold to various companies and each company delares different amounts, they will only take a credit card and it is just a mess. Not to mention they are calling my family - and they leave threatening messages. My question - Is there a legal representation I can hire to sort this out and get a legitimate pay off amount and payment arrangement Again, I realize you may not be this kind of company but I had to start somewhere. I took out the loans to help a relative get into an apartment - she was supposed to pay me back - she was unable to. I unfortunately could not pay it back at that time - and they went into default and I couldnt get anyone to work with me. The debts were sold to collection companies - who call me and my family on a regular basis - and it is scary. My problem is that when I try to get a payoff amount or make an arrangement -1) they are very nasty 2) I have no confidence that they are legit 3) they only want a credit card - and I am not going to give that info. I am guessing that you specialize in something differeent. I was hoping to find a firm I could pay/hire to sort this out - and negotiate a pay off - so I can end the calls and harrassment. unfortunatel - I am getting ready to get on a plane for a business trip - - but someone can call me on monday.
6 years ago
I am having a terrible time with pay day loan people and scammers even though I filed for bankruptcy and it went through last December. Right now, I need to get all my documentation together to address what is happening but I just need to know if the number, 888-791-8439 is associated with Alliance Asset Management as has been posted in 800 notes on the Internet. This would be helpful for a start. Thank you, as it has been involving not only my home life, etc. but my workplace where I get these calls.. It is very difficult to do here, but I just need this info if you have it. Also, do you cover consumers in another state-NH. Hopefully, the id will come up with your law firm as I can not answer unfamiliar calls due to what has been happening. I also have had to turn my ringer off for quite some time. There is just too much right now. I am, however, in the process of putting together documentation for the government agencies in order to advocate for consumers who continue to have to deal with... I will have something available later. I just need to know about the current company I think I am dealing with as they wouldn't give me their address.. That is Allied Asset, I believe!
hi i received a call from these people todau. i came across your website saying you can help. they called saying they have contacted the county i live in and are in the process of taking legal action against me for a Kay's Jewellers acct. I owe a bit over $4000. Well they questioned me about an online baby registry i have ... I'm 9 mos pregnant, i thought that was weird that they would dig up info on me .. especially related to that and then ask me if i'm expecting to have a baby shower and why my spouse doesnt help financially. Said they would garnish wages or take other action!
Hello, I was rear-ended in a car accident a couple days ago and have gotten dozens of calls from chiropractors since. I am on the "do no call" list, but I keep getting calls, is this a legal breach of the 'do not call' law? The summary is above, you do specialize in legal consumer practices, correct? I have just gotten dozens of calls from chiropractor offices trying to sell me services after my car accident...I believe they extracted my phone number from my accident report. Since I am on the .GOV 'Do Not Call' list, I thought it was illegal to telemarket to a consumer when I have no prior relationship with the company (chiropractors in this case)!
Hi I am being sued by National Collegiate Trust, they have contacted me and my family several times with harrassing phone calls. The debt is about 9 years old, is this something your firm handles? Yes, I took out a private student loan in 2006 for what I was told was $20,000. I have been in school since then and in 2008, I contacted the original creditor and told them that I was still in school and they stated they would defer the loan. In 2013, I saw that there was a collection from National Collegiate for about $39,000, I contacted the company they were very nasty and said they were not the original creditor and I needed to pay them now or they would place a lien on my accounts. I told them that they could not do that and I needed proof that they owned the loan because they were not the company I took the loan out with. They agreed to mail me proof. I never received any. I called back a few more times and each time was given the runaround and placed on hold for long periods of time. Then, I checked my credit report in 2014 and it was gone. Last Wed. I was summonds to court as the company is now suing me for $50,000. In the meantime, I have received harrassing calls from the company and my mom and aunt have as well!
Well, I inquiry legal assistance in regards to issues for which I have file several complaints against Vantage Point Services. I don't know if you have search the internet, but the company has been shut down due to the complaint I had file with the New York Attorney General's office, FTC, FBI which has gotten the company to halt their services. Well, a few months ago I have gotten a call from a guy name investigator Jones. The company Vantage Point Service was the collection agency that took the payment for a debt they said I owed. The company made threats to have me arrested if I did not pay them the money. I have several documents that I can forward to the attorney for review. You can visit the web site copied below. If you visit one of the web sites you will see the complaint. It's in very detail of what has taken place between me and the company's. I have been trying for a very long time to get yall to handle my case!
I just installed your app. I get so many of these calls all hours of the day and night. Will this app work on its own, or do I need to configure it!
I have been called twice now by Halsted Financial and I don't owe any money to a credit card company. I paid it off. Sure. I paid off the credit card and I have a receipt if it's the account in question. This started when I disputed an entry on my credit report and it was removed!