The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to dispute errors on your credit reports.
Having an accurate credit report is important. Businesses purchase your credit report to evaluate your application for credit, loans, employment, insurance, and home rentals. An error on your credit report can cause serious harm, such as a loan denial, job loss, housing denial, higher interest rates, or higher insurance premiums.
Consumers should monitor their credit reports and check for any inaccuracies or inconsistencies. For information about how to obtain your credit reports, click HERE. When reviewing your credit reports, you should look for any errors or inaccuracies. For an explanation of typical types of errors, click HERE.
If you find an error on your credit report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that consumer reporting agencies investigate and correct any disputed inaccurate information. The steps to dispute an error on your credit report are as follows:
Step 1. Choose How to Dispute
You can dispute online, by mail, or by phone. Disputing by mail with a written letter sent by certified mail allows you to retain a copy of your dispute for your records, as well as proof of mailing. Here is contact information for each of the “Big Three” credit bureaus:
By Phone: (800) 864-2978
By Mail: Equifax Information Services LLC, P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374
By Phone: (888) 397-3742
By Mail: Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allent, TX 75013
By Phone: (800) 916-8800
By Mail: TransUnion LLC, Consumer Dispute Center, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016
Step 2: What to Include In Your Dispute
Your dispute should clearly (1) list each item of information that is inaccurate, (2) explain why it is inaccurate, and (3) identify how it should be corrected. If possible, include supporting documentation for your dispute and refer to that documentation in your letter.
If you have questions about how to write a dispute, the credit check lawyers at Weiner & Sand LLC are happy to assist you through the process. We do not charge for these services.
Here is a sample that you can use for your dispute:
Your date of birth
To: [Equifax / Experian / TransUnion]
Address of CRA
Dear [Name of CRA]
I am writing to dispute the following inaccurate information on my [Equifax or Experian or TransUnion] consumer report:
[Identify inaccurate information, including account name or number].
[Explain reason for dispute and why it is inaccurate]
[Explain how it should be reported or corrected]
I have enclosed documents supporting my dispute. [Explain how documents support your dispute].
Step 3: Review the Results
The consumer reporting agency should send you the results of its investigation within 30 days. There are generally three outcomes to a dispute: (1) the CRA deletes or corrects the disputed information; (2) the CRA modifies the disputed information; or (3) the CRA refuses to correct the error. If the CRA deletes or changes an item of information, it cannot put the disputed information back into your report unless it provides you with a written notice first. This is called “reinsertion,” and it could violate your rights under the FCRA.
If the CRA does not correct or remove the inaccurate information, you can request the CRA to include a statement explaining the dispute in your credit file. This statement will be included in future reports sent by the CRA.
Step 4: Consult a Lawyer
If you cannot get an error fixed after sending a dispute, we recommend you consult with a lawyer to discuss your options. The attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC are experienced FCRA attorneys who can help guide you through the dispute process, and help you recover any losses or damages caused by inaccuracies on your credit reports.