Disputing Credit Report Errors
If you were turned down for a credit card or a loan due to bad credit, you may have errors on your credit report — or be a victim of identity theft. If you believe that this is the case, then you must take immediate steps to protect your rights.
First, you should request a copy of your free credit report, as authorized by the FCRA, from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion). It is best to request this report via mail. After receiving the report, check it carefully for any errors, including:
- Accounts that don't belong to you.
- Inquiries for credit that you did not authorize
- Incorrect criminal records
- False personal identification information
- Inaccurate credit information (such as a payment history showing late or missed payments, or closed accounts)
- Incorrect public record information (bankruptcies, lawsuits)
Second, write a dispute letter to the credit reporting agencies. This dispute letter should detail the mistakes that appear on the credit report and ask the credit bureau to fix them along with proof that that item is wrong. A Michigan credit reporting attorney can work with you on finding errors and drafting a dispute letter.
A dispute letter should be direct and have all the necessary information for the credit reporting agency to understand that there is false information on your report. When writing the letter, be as specific as possible about the charges, accounts, or other information that are in dispute.
Third, wait 30 days. This is the period of time that the credit agency has to respond to or correct the disputed items on your credit report. If they fail to do so, then you may be able to file a lawsuit based on the damage to your credit score and other losses.