Credit report mistakes are common. Two Federal Trade Commission studies found that almost 15% of consumers have an error on at least one of their credit reports. Don’t lose heart if you find any mistakes; it’s very common and can be solved!
There are several ways to approach errors on a credit score. One way is to do it yourself; a great option if you’re a great detective, are skilled at documentation, and have the time available. Get your notebook out! Here is how to get started on improving the accuracy of your credit report.
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- Documentation! Whatever you do, be sure to record everything. Keep records of all of the letters you send, all of the letters you receive and every phone call, and request return receipts so you know they receive your letters. Be sure to send copies of any paperwork you send and keep the originals for yourself.
- Put it in writing. You can either mail a letter (double check the address) to dispute each error with each bureau or you could submit them online on their websites. Note: Usually the time it takes for a credit bureau to respond and resolve a dispute is within 30 days.
- Be clear and concise. Always explain your situation clearly and with the fewest words when you dispute something. Give the agencies only the key facts so that they can really understand the situation. Adding irrelevant information can confuse someone who is looking into your case, especially when they’re learning about your situation for the first time.
Fixing your own credit is always an option and at no extra cost (if you know how to do it). Especially with any obvious or simple errors, you can always try to do it on your own.