[I]f you check your credit reports, there is a good chance that you might find an error. Statistics show that one in five credit reports contain errors. That’s not good news for consumers who rely on credit reports for new credit and loans. However, you can dispute any errors and get them corrected.
How to Dispute the Error
You have two options when it comes to disputing an error on your credit report. Your first option is to contact the creditor directly. If you have a current account with them that is up to date, they will most likely fix the error. They will contact all three of the credit reporting agencies or however many they report to and take care of the problem.
If you don’t get the resolution you want, you can also contact the credit reporting agency directly. You will need to contact each one that has the error and file an official dispute. After you do this step, an investigation will take place.
How to Get the Error Removed
To get the error removed quickly, you should provide as much supporting documentation as possible. If it is enough, the agency will remove the error immediately. However, if you don’t have enough evidence to support your request, the agency will begin an investigation.
It usually takes up 30 days but it can be longer for the investigation to be complete. The agency will contact the creditor who is supposed to either provide support that the information is valid or fix the error. If they do not respond, the agency will either fix the error or remove the entry.
Equifax marks any item in dispute on the credit report so potential creditors will know it’s being investigated. The other two credit reporting agencies do not notate this in the report.
An error on your credit report can cause your credit score to drop. While the error is being investigated, the information is temporarily dropped from your credit score, which could cause an increase. Because of the way the system works, people have abused the right to dispute information on their credit reports. Just know that only inaccurate information should be disputed and removed.
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