Monday, August 1, 2011

You Can Dispute Your Credit Report Information

Credit reports and scores contain important information about the financial activity in which you have been involved, including how you have paid your bills, any outstanding loans you may have and how well you have made your payments, and any credit accounts that you may have. This information is used to help a lender make a decision when you apply for more credit or another loan. It is important that the information is reported correctly as errors in your credit reports and scores could cause you to be denied a loan or credit card for which you may have otherwise qualified. You can only find out what is contained in your credit report if you take advantage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and annually request your credit report and scores from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act also enables you to dispute what is on your report if you find any information to be inaccurate. There is a process that needs to be followed but handling the dispute correctly can resolve any inaccuracies in the information contained in your credit report.

When you find an error in your credit information, you need to submit written letters to the credit bureau that provided the report and to the company or organization that provided the information. To support your claim, you should include in your letters copies of statements or cancelled checks and keep the originals for your own records. Your letters should also include your full name and address, the information that you are disputing and why the information is incorrect. Including your credit report with the information under dispute highlighted will also help the credit bureau and the company to better understand the problem.

The letters disputing your report should be sent by certified mail with a request for a return receipt; doing this will prove that you not only sent the dispute but that the credit bureau and the company received your letters. You should also keep a copy of the letters you sent along with the supporting information.

Once your dispute has been received, the credit bureau has thirty days to investigate it and respond to you in writing with its findings regarding its investigation. Its investigation starts with forwarding the information you provided regarding the inaccuracy to the company in question which is then required to make its own investigation and report back to the credit bureau.

Once the credit bureau has received its information from the company in question, it will provide you with the results and a free copy of your credit reports and scores if the dispute required a change in your report. Chances are that if the information is incorrect in one credit bureau's report that it is also incorrect in the reports of the other two companies. You should check their reports as well to make sure that all your information is accurate.

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