You’ve done everything you can to keep your credit in good shape – only to find out there are mistakes on your credit report which are having a negative impact on your finances. It’s time to take action and fix the errors.
The first step is to go directly to the source and make a claim. When contacting a credit bureau, make sure you keep a copy of all correspondence – e-mail, hard copy and notes of conversations. Include contact names and dates. Be as detailed as possible and be careful not to be accusatory or abusive. A calm and collected demeanor will go much further than aggression or anger.
How to deal with credit bureaus:
- Report errors through the credit bureau’s website: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion all offer methods to report errors online. This is the quickest and easiest way to get an investigation started. The process is interactive with easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.
- All three credit bureaus have toll-free numbers: Give the credit bureau a call. They have specially trained customer service representatives available to answer all of your questions and to initiate the dispute process. A confirmation or credit report number may be required which is usually located at the top of your credit report.
- Mail your claim to the credit bureau directly: Be sure to send it certified mail so that you can prove it was sent and to insure it was received by the credit bureau or reporting agency.
The credit bureau must initiate an investigation within 30 days of receiving your complaint. They will contact the company that provided the false information and review the disputed charges. If your claim is found to be valid, the credit bureau must fix any incorrect information on your credit report and remove any disputed items that cannot be confirmed by the other party.
The credit bureau is also required by law to contact the other credit agencies and have the correction posted on their reports. Plus, they’re required to send notices of any corrections to anyone who received your credit report within the past six months (upon your request). You can also have a corrected copy sent to anyone who received your credit report during the past two years for employment purposes. You will receive the results of the investigation in writing and a updated copy of your report, if the dispute resulted in changes.
If your charge isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. If you have filed for an investigation and have not heard back from the credit bureau in two months, it is time to follow up. Use the toll-free number to make personal contact to get the most direct results. Contact info for all three credit bureaus is listed below:
Credit Bureau Contact Information
Report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
Report fraud: 1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
Report fraud: 1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013