Everyone should monitor their credit report, but it’s especially important if you’re planning to apply for a credit card, buy a home, or buy a car. Your credit report can be the difference on whether you qualify for a loan or not.

Common Mistakes on Credit Reports

It’s not uncommon for credit reports to contain errors. In fact, around 26% of credit reports contain at least one error, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Some of these errors include:

  • Paid-off accounts marked as delinquent
  • Closed accounts reported as open
  • Credit card payments made to the wrong account
  • Accounts listed more than once
  • Accounts that aren’t even yours
  • Errors in your name and personal information

Fortunately, the law allows you to dispute any misinformation on your credit report.

Look Over Your Credit Report

Once you’ve obtained a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus, you’ll want to look over all of the details and make sure they’re correct.

Inform the Credit Bureau

If you spot an error, take action immediately to have it corrected. Report the mistake to both the lender and the report bureau. Although the major credit reporting bureaus offer tools for making disputes online, it’s best to let them know about the mistake in writing. The FTC offers a sample letter you can use to initiate a dispute. Ensure to list important details about the mistake with proper documentation. Then send it by certified mail with a return receipt.

Make sure the credit bureaus don’t think your dispute is frivolous. They can reject you if they don’t have enough solid evidence.

Also, if you have more than one dispute, don’t send them all at once or send the same one repeatedly.

Wait for the Credit Bureau to Respond

Credit bureaus typically have 30 days to investigate your claim and are required to respond to you. They’re also required to forward the information you’ve provided to the account or lender who shared the information to them in the first place.

Inform the Lender

You’ll also want to contact the lender or company who reported the misinformation. The FTC has another sample letter for these instances. Make sure to explain in detail what the inaccuracy is and provide supporting documentation.

How to Dispute Credit Report Mistakes: The Bottom Line

Errors happen often and they may never be uncovered if you don’t stay on top of your credit report.

Whether you have poor credit or would like to learn more about finances, the team at People’s Community Federal Credit Union is here and ready to help.

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How to Dispute Mistakes on Your Credit Report in Vancouver WA

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