How to Dispute Social Security Number Variations on a Credit Report

Include a copy of your Social Security card as supporting documentation.
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According to the Nolo law website, a Social Security number variation on your credit report is more common than you might think. Although most result from a simple typographical error, it's vital to act if you see a variation, because an incorrect number can also point to fraud. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, reporting agencies have a duty to report your credit information accurately and must fully investigate errors and inaccuracies. However, because each of the three main agencies operates independently, you'll need to work with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion separately to correct this type of error.


Review Credit Information

Review your credit report from all three reporting agencies; if you see an incorrect Social Security number on one agency's credit report, it's likely that variations exist on all three. You can get a free report from each agency once a year at the Annual Credit Report website. If any investigation results in changing your information, the agency must give you an additional free report that contains the update.


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File a Dispute

Send a letter and a copy of your Social Security card to each agency that has an incorrect number and request that the agency remove all variations. To assist you, the Federal Trade Commission has a dispute letter template you can follow. To support your position, the FTC recommends that you enclose a copy of your credit report and highlight the erroneous variations. Keep a copy for your records and send a copy to each agency by certified mail with return receipt.


What Happens Next

Each agency must investigate your dispute within 30 days. During this time, the agency will contact the creditor, who must also investigate the dispute and change any incorrect information. The agency will then correct the information in your file and send you a written notice and a free copy of your report documenting the change.


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