The information on your credit report is used by financing companies to determine whether or not you should be approved for a loan or line of credit. Some employers also examine your credit report when you apply for a job. This is why it is important that your credit report is accurate. If you notice an error on your credit report, you should immediately report it so it can get corrected. It isn't a difficult process, as long as you know how to change information on a credit report.
Review your credit report. You can get your credit report from any of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax or Transunion. You can also get a free credit report if you haven't already this year through the Annual Credit Report website. Once you have your report, make sure to carefully review your name, current and past address and phone information, and the accounts listed.
Determine how you want to dispute or change information. The three credit reporting agencies offer the option to dispute information on your report online, by phone or by mail. Using the Internet to dispute is much faster than using the phone or mail.
Gather the information needed and dispute it. For inaccuracies, you want to first gather any information you might have to support your claim before you actually dispute it. Letters and statements from creditors listing the recent status of your accounts are good evidence to support your claim. Make sure you keep copies of all of your supporting documents as well as your communication with the credit reporting agency.
Dispute the information. When you call or complete the online or mail-in form, you need to know your credit report number, phone number, ZIP code, Social Security number and address. State what you're disputing and why you're disputing. Follow up with supporting documents.
Allow time for the credit agencies to investigate the dispute. The length of time it takes for a dispute to be resolved depends upon exactly what you are disputing. Some disputes can be resolved within a matter of days while others take time. You should receive an answer within 30 days of filing the dispute unless you filed by mail, which may take up to 45 days.
Recheck your credit report to ensure the information has been corrected. If your dispute was approved, you can pull your credit report again to make sure that the information has been changed or removed. Make sure to give the agencies time to change the information before pulling it again.
Information on credit reports can only be changed if they are found to be inaccurate. You don’t have the power to remove something simply because you want it off your credit report.
Credit reporting agencies won’t make changes to misspellings of your name or address if they have been reported to them from one of your creditors. Instead you are responsible for contacting the creditor to change its information and update it with the credit reporting agency.
If submitting a dispute online make sure to include a valid email address since this is the only way they will communicate with you about the results of the investigation into your claim.