A step you should take to protect your credit is to review your credit reports at least annually to make sure the information being reported on them is accurate. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports each year, which you can obtain from AnnualCreditReport.com. As a courtesy during the pandemic, you are able to access your credit report on a weekly basis. Let’s look at how to dispute an error on your credit report.
Errors That Can Hurt Your Credit
Millions of consumers have found an error on one of their credit reports. Many of these errors can bring your credit score down, which can hurt your ability to borrow at the best rates and can even increase the amount you pay for car insurance. Common errors include debts that don’t belong to you, payments incorrectly reported as late, or wrong personal information such as a misspelled name or wrong address.
Getting Ready to Dispute an Error
Once you’ve found an error, put together as much documentation as you can that proves the reported information is incorrect. Copies of bank statements, credit card statements, or receipts for payments can help. If the item shouldn’t be reported because of a divorce, include a copy of the divorce decree. Contact the creditor and the credit bureau that’s reporting wrong information to let them know you believe what’s being reported is incorrect.
All three of the major credit bureaus allow consumers to initiate a credit dispute online. Clearly identify items you’re disputing on the credit report and explain why you believe it’s incorrect. Attach copies of supporting documentation but hold onto the originals. Request that the item be corrected or deleted.
What Happens Next
The credit bureau is required to investigate your dispute within 30 days. They must report the results back to you once their investigation has been completed, so it may take about 45 days for you to get the results. You’ll receive the results of your dispute in writing. If the item has been corrected, you’ll receive an updated copy of your credit report. If the creditor maintains that the information is correct, they’ll continue to report the inaccurate information. You have the right to request that the credit bureau include a statement that you’re disputing the item.
There’s no point in repeatedly disputing the same item without providing new backup documentation. If you do that, the credit bureau may determine that the dispute is frivolous, and if that happens, they aren’t required to investigate.
What if You Need Help?
Some people are uncomfortable disputing errors with the credit bureaus on their own. If you’d like to have help with this process, Dovly is an AI credit engine that can work with the credit bureaus on your behalf. We can help you track, manage and fix errors on your credit, which makes the process as simple as possible. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier. Get in touch with Dovly today.