Your credit score and a healthy credit report are important to maintain a clean financial record. A decent credit score makes it easier to get loans and other credit-related benefits and facilities.
Errors on your credit report are the last thing you might want to see. Therefore, it becomes very crucial to check your credit report regularly to see if there is an error. Most of the time, credit errors are marked out of misunderstanding and mistakes by credit bureaus.
If you have faced such a credit error, your immediate thought should be to dispute it as soon as possible. How can you do it? These are a few steps that will guide you on how to dispute credit report and win.
Steps on How to dispute credit report errors and win
Check your credit report periodically
You will never find any errors on your credit report if you don’t keep track of it. This is the reason checking credit reports is vital. If you notice a sudden change or drop in your credit score, better take action immediately.
First of all, you have to get the actual credit report copies from all three bureaus. Check minutely if there is any mention of accounts that you haven’t opened or any other action that looks suspicious. If you find things that seem out of place, it is time to take some concrete action.
If there is any error, contact the business that reported it
If there is an error on your credit report, get in touch with the party or business that reported it. The reporting party could be your landlord, car or land lender, or a credit card company. The reporting might just be an issue of misunderstanding; hence contacting them could solve the issue.
Even though the error might seem insignificant or minor, you should send a formal dispute letter that has reported the error to the credit bureaus. Send along a copy of the credit report and mention the error that was there. You can add additional documentation, which is in your favor.
Dispute credit report with credit bureaus
While you are trying to resolve the dispute with a particular entity, you should try to remove it from your reports too. You can initiate the process of getting the report removed by submitting a dispute with credit bureaus via mail or online.
There are three major credit bureaus, and don’t forget to check the instructions of each one. Add all necessary documents with your dispute based on each bureau’s instructions.
Retain copies of every document
Never ignore this part. Keeping your documents ready is very important as you might be asked at any point in time to present proof of actions you have taken. So keep all copies of the documents you have sent to the credit bureaus and the entity.
If you have email records of the dispute, save them in a secure folder. If there were any telephonic conversations involved, ask for the employee details and phone number.
Solving a credit report isn’t an overnight thing, and it may take weeks or even weeks. During the entire process, make sure you take the initiative to ask for updates. If you don’t hear anything for too long, you should make follow-up calls or send follow-up emails.
Once the issue is solved, you still are left with a couple of things to do:
- Send the new resolved reports to those who saw the error report. It is important, especially if you were denied any loan due to a bad credit score. Sometimes companies may also charge you an increased interest rate if your credit score is not pleasant.
- Continue checking your credit reports to make sure there are no new errors reported. Checking the credit report of all three bureaus once every week is necessary.
If you are wondering whether the above steps will help dispute a credit report and let you win, well, things are not that easy. But there are certain things you can do to make things work in your favor.
For instance, if you are filing a dispute with credit bureaus, you have to word your letter really well. You can bluntly ask them to remove the report, but instead, you should ask to verify whatever has been stated on that report.
Once you file the report, credit bureaus will get in touch with a lender, collecting agency, or normally known as a furnishing party. They are basically data furnishers, and their job is to investigate your claim.
Usually, furnishing parties take thirty to forty five days to investigate the whole thing and report to credit bureaus. If the furnishers confirm the credit reporting to be true, there is no way to live with that report until the credit bureaus have to remove it. It will take an average of 7 years to remove the bad report.
How to re-dispute a credit report
Sometimes disputed or deleted credit reports can reappear a few weeks, months, or years later. You can again dispute the report with credit bureaus. The credit bureaus will follow the same procedure again and ask furnishers to investigate the report.
But this time you will have to contact the furnishers and convince them that the report is wrong. If you don’t approach the furnishers, they are likely to send the same verdict they did earlier.
If you don’t provide any new information to the credit bureaus, they tend to ignore your request.
An error in your credit report is not a pleasant thing to see. If you ever face this issue, take necessary action immediately and dispute the issue at the earliest. Hopefully, these steps mentioned above help you do the same!