How to Fix Common Mistakes on Your Credit Report

by Victoria Santiago

Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay on top of your credit report and score. Our credit scores affect many different aspects of our life – how much we pay for insurance, if we can rent or buy a house or car, and more. It’s essential. Even the smallest mistake on your credit report could drastically change your eligibility for something, so it’s important to watch out for inaccuracies.

Over the span of 20 months, more than 700,000 complaints were filed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). These complaints were directed at our largest credit-reporting firms – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Typically, credit report issues arise when false information is reported and doesn’t get fixed. When this happens, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and panic. Not to worry – we’ve detailed what to do when that happens.

Steps to Fixing Credit Report Issues

If you see incorrect credit information, the first thing you need to do is contact whichever credit reporting company the report is through. This could be Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. In writing, you should tell the credit reporting company what you think is wrong with your report. It’s important to provide proof that their data is inaccurate. Overall, your dispute letter should include what you think is wrong, documents to back that up, contact information to reach you, and the confirmation number of the report. Including all of these pieces will help the process along.

After submitting your dispute, you’ll have to wait to hear back from the reporting agency. In most cases, an agency will have 30 days to investigate your claim. Also, it’s important to note that filing a claim won’t directly affect your credit score. After your claim gets processed, then your scores might change.

Sending in Your Disputes to the Big Three

To file a dispute against Equifax, you’ll have to download their dispute form and mail it in with your letter. You can also reach them via phone at (866) 349–5191. Their mailing address is:

Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30348

TransUnion also has a dispute form that you’ll have to fill out and send. You can find that here. For any questions or additional information, you can call TransUnion at (800) 916–8800. After gathering all of your documents, you can send them to:

TransUnion LLC
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016

Lastly, Experian has no dispute form. You’ll still have to send in a letter, though. Of course, for any questions or help, you can call them. Their number is (888) 397–3742. Mail all Experian claims to:

P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

If A Dispute Doesn’t Fix It…

Filing a claim won’t always fix credit report issues. If you file and it doesn’t get resolved, there are still steps you can take. For one, you can ask the credit reporting agency to include your statement anytime someone asks for a credit report. If you do this, it’ll be included in your file and it’ll be shown in any future reports. You can also ask for a copy of the statement to be sent to anyone that recently checked your credit. Beware, however. This usually will cost you a small fee.