Now you have better options to dispute a credit report error
BY GAIL HILLEBRAND
If you’re trying to correct an error in your credit report at one of the nation’s largest credit reporting companies, there is some good news. Recently, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion added a function to their dispute-handling system that makes it easier for you to explain your dispute.
Now you can upload, mail, or fax any supporting documents you have to explain the errors in your credit report.
Why you should care about correcting your credit report
Credit reports play a part in most major consumer lending decisions– including mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, and private student loans.
If there is inaccurate information in your report, it could cause a lender to offer you an interest rate that is less favorable than it would otherwise offer. Some inaccuracies could even lead lenders to turn you down entirely.
Every year, millions of Americans exercise their right to dispute their credit report. In 2011, for example, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion collectively received about 8 million requests disputing the accuracy of information in credit reports.
Since October 2012, when we started taking credit reporting complaints, we’ve handled about 31,000 complaints from consumers frustrated with credit reporting companies. The majority of those complaints have been about the accuracy and completeness of credit reports.
Now, you can provide supporting documents such as a paid bill, a letter you wrote explaining the issue, a police report, or proof of identity information, or other correspondence.
Including relevant supporting documents can be important because it allows you to provide evidence that supports your dispute.
Credit reporting companies must forward your dispute, including all relevant information, to the furnisher (the company that originally gave the information to the credit reporting companies). If the furnisher corrects your information because of your dispute, it must correct that information with every credit reporting company with whom it has a relationship.
Check your credit report
So, if you haven’t done so recently, get your free annual credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Check for errors. And if you find an error, use your own words and supporting documentation to explain your dispute. You can also submit a complaint with us.