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Dispute Item On Credit Report

Everyone should know what their credit score is, because it’s the number used by lenders to determine whether or not you are a good risk for a loan. Your credit score is based on information contained in your credit report, information including all your addresses, any names you’ve had, how much total debt you’re carrying, if you make your payments on time, and if you’ve ever had accounts sent to a collection agency or declared bankruptcy. A bad credit score will prevent you from getting any major loan, for anything from your dream home to that car you’ve always wanted. That’s assuming, of course, that all the information is correct. If not, you may need to dispute an item on your credit report by using a service such as the dispute letters available on CreditElves.com

To ensure your credit report’s accuracy, there’s a law in place (from the Fair Credit Reporting Act) that allows you to receive your credit report once a year from the three major reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can receive each of these from the website AnnualCreditReport.com. You can choose to receive your reports online and print them at home, or give the information by telephone and receive them in the mail, or mail in the information and get the reports mailed back to you.

When you receive the reports, go over each item, good or bad, to make sure they are accurate. There may be information that is incorrect, such as payments made and not noted, or misspelled names or addresses, or even reports that you made a transaction you did not. It is not only important that you correct any mistakes for the sake of your credit score, but you will need to be sure that you haven’t been the victim of identity theft. Look for outdated information, too, meaning items that should have been taken off due to age (usually seven years), and reports of activity that you never authorized.

If you do find inconsistencies or mistakes, there are several ways to dispute an item on your credit report. Experts advise that you put your dispute in writing, listing exactly what you are disputing, any account numbers, the dates of the transactions and any information you might have showing that you either paid the debt or the matter is simply erroneous. A big help can come from CreditElves.com, who offer customized letters of dispute with all your information already plugged in, or even offer free sample letters for you to use. Customized credit dispute letters take the guesswork out of your hands and places the facts into the hands of professionals. Once you’ve completed the letter, send copies (not originals) of any paperwork you have to support your dispute, and keep a copy of the letter itself. Send the package via registered mail, return receipt requested, so you know if and when the credit agency received the information.

Once the credit agency you’ve contacted gets the packet, you can usually expect a response within 30 days. The credit agency will work with the creditor to get the facts straight, and if the matter is found to be in your favor, the credit agency is responsible for making sure the three major reporting agencies change their information. Your credit score will benefit from the information being corrected.

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