At least half of all credit bureau reports contain errors. It could be something very minor such as the misspelling of your first name or something more detrimental like delinquent accounts that are not yours. All too frequently information is carelessly entered on your report causing your potential lender to deny you credit because of
false or misreported information. If your credit file contains errors that you know are incorrect such as accounts that are not yours, you can dispute them. Enclosed with your bureau report should be a dispute form . This form allows you to correct any information that is not being reported correctly, whether it is your date of birth, home address or loan account that is not yours. If you did not receive a dispute form, you can just as easily write a letter detailing the inaccurate information. Be sure and wrote your name, social security number, date of birth, and home address at the top of the page. You will again be required to provide ALL of your identification information as detailed under (How to get a copy of your credit bureau report) in Lesson 2. List the account number(s) of the disputed item(s) and detail a reason for the dispute such as; “the account is not mine” or “the account was paid in full.” Be sure to back up your statement with a copy of your cancelled check verifying that the account as paid in full or a copy of your social security card in the event that you social security number is being misreported.
It can be very helpful if you make a copy of the original credit bureau report and highlight all the errors with a yellow hi-lighter to draw the credit bureau’s attention to the items you are disputing.
Before mailing your dispute letter, with the highlighted copy of your bureau report and proof of claim, make copies of your correspondence and file the copies in a file folder with the credit bureau’s name on it.
Mail the original documents “certified with return receipt” to the credit bureau. The credit bureau has thirty (30) days in which to respond to you and make the appropriate changes. The credit bureau will mail you a copy of your credit report with the appropriate changes. Read it over carefully. If the credit bureau failed to update an account to your specifications, send another dispute form or letter and repeat this process until you get your desired results.
If the credit bureau does not respond to your requests, call the credit bureau. If you mailed the documents “certified with return receipt” you will have proof that the documents were sent and that the credit bureau did receive them.
Remember that you will need to repeat this same process with all three major credit bureaus. Since the credit bureaus are independent of each other they more than likely will be reporting different information.