A man looking at his laptop and writing down information beside the words "Disputing a Credit Report"

It’s important that you request your yearly free credit reports and check them for inaccuracies. A 2012 study found that 1 in 4 Americans had errors on their credit report that had the potential to bring their scores down. To make sure that your score isn’t being dragged down due to factors that aren’t your fault, you should check your score and dispute any mistakes on it. Here is how you can dispute errors that you find on your credit report:

Contact the Credit Bureau

Every year, you may receive one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). These reports aren’t always identical, so you should look through each one carefully. If you find a mistake, you should contact the credit bureau with the inaccurate report.

When asking for the error to be fixed, you should write a letter to the credit bureau. This letter should contain as much information as possible, such as the error that you’re disputing and any proof you have that it is inaccurate. Common errors found on credit reports include:

  • Closed accounts reported as open

  • Accounts that are inaccurately reported as delinquent

  • Someone else’s information merged with yours

Once the credit bureau has received your letter, they have 30 days to investigate the matter. They will contact any appropriate parties such as a bank that supplied them with incorrect information, and take other necessary steps to confirm that your dispute is valid. They will then send you a free copy of the revised report. It’s important to remember, however, that they won’t bother with this investigation if you don’t provide them with enough information to prove that there’s a mistake.

You may contact each credit bureau online or by mail. If you send your letter by mail, make sure to use certified mail so that you have proof that they received it. Here is where you can contest your report with each of the three major credit bureaus:

Experian

Send your dispute online here.

Send dispute letter by mail to:

Experian

PO Box 4500

Allen, TX 75013

Equifax

Send your dispute online here.

Send dispute letter by mail to:

Equifax

PO Box 740256

Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

TransUnion

Send your dispute online here.

Send dispute letter by mail to:

TransUnion LLC

Consumer Dispute Center

PO Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

Contact the Responsible Party

If the error is due to a mistake by a bank, credit card company, or other entity that controls credit, you should contact them as well. These entities are known as furnishers since they furnish your credit information to the credit bureaus.

You may find it easier to simply go to the furnisher first and skip contacting the credit bureau. If, for example, a bank inaccurately reported a late payment, you can address this issue with them in addition to or instead of mailing the credit bureau. Identity-related issues, however, should always be addressed with the credit bureau.

If you want a reliable company to monitor your credit report for errors and inaccuracies, contact Build My Scores. They can detect errors, fraud, and other issues while also helping you build your credit quickly and easily. Contact them today to learn more about how they can help you improve your credit score.