How To: Address Credit Report Inaccuracies

Have you seen your 3 bureau credit reports and noticed an inaccuracy? Are you now wondering what you can do? You should immediately contact both the credit bureau and the organization that provided the information to the bureau. Both parties are ultimately responsible for addressing inaccurate or incomplete information on your credit report.

The first step is to submit your issue in writing to the credit bureau, be it Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. 

Your letter should include the following items:
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Identify each item in your report you want to dispute
  • State the facts to explain why you are disputing those items
  • Request an update or deletion
  • Include a copy of the report
Once your letter is complete, send it by certified mail with return receipt requested for documentation. The credit bureau must then investigate your dispute, and will usually do so within 30 days.

The second step is to write the appropriate creditor or information provider to tell them you are disputing information provided to the credit bureau. This letter should also include copies of documents to support your dispute.

If the provider again reports the same information to a bureau, it must include a notice of your dispute. To make sure you are aware of this, request that the provider copy you on all correspondence with the bureau. Once the dispute has been resolved, in many states you will be eligible to receive an updated credit report directly from the bureau.

However, resolving one error doesn't mean that you should stop monitoring your credit reporting and scores.  You need to be reviewing your credit reports from each of the bureaus. Certain credit monitoring services (such as PrivacyGuard for instance) provide 3 bureau credit reporting that makes it easy to compare the bureau reports side-by-side (making it easier to spot inaccuracies).