Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report

by : S. Michael Windsor



Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report

So what do you do if you receive your credit report and there are negative marks on it that you never even had any part in? This very situation has occurred for many individuals already and may very well occur again on someone's credit report in the near future. If this ever happens to you, what are you supposed to do about it? The road is never easy in this case, but there are indeed ways to correct any errors on your credit report.
If you discover an error on your credit report, the very first thing you should do is contact your consumer credit reporting company that issued your report in writing. Yes, the FTC recommends a written statement be sent to the reporting company. In the letter you should include copies of all the relevant documents required as evidence that it is indeed an error. In addition, the required elements such as your name, address, an explanation of the erroneous situation at hand and why you are disputing the error with all errors that are being disputed circled on the copy of the credit report. Also in the letter, the suggested correction, such as a request to delete the item completely, should also be stated in the letter.
When delivering the letter off to your reporting company, remember to send it via certified mail in order to make sure that you get confirmation that they had indeed received it in the case there is a dispute in regards to someone not even getting the letter. In addition to a certified letter, make sure you make copies of the letter(s) as well in order to keep record on file in the case that there may be a dispute on their end.
After the reporting company receives your dispute letter, they will begin their investigation on the matter, that is, if they deem the dispute as not being frivolous. They will normally begin their investigation within 30 days of receiving your letter. During the investigation, the reporting company will forward all documents and disputes to the organization(s) in question in order for the disputed organization to do their own investigation of why they placed that item on your credit report. Once they complete their investigation, they must then send back their statement on whether it is truly an error or not and support that statement with further evidence of their own.
In the case that the information is indeed inaccurate, then the organization at fault must inform all credit reporting companies of their error and have it corrected. Once this is complete, the credit reporting company will send you a new, updated credit report after the inaccuracy has been corrected.
Now, if your item in question is indeed correct and the organization has the evidence to back it up, then you will also receive a written statement in regards to this issue and you will have an option, for a slight fee, to place a note in your credit report in regards to your dispute about the item. This statement will be provided to all who see your credit report in the future as well as those who already received your credit report.