Your credit score is meant to indicate how financially responsible you are when it comes to borrowing however did you know that it is not unheard of for the three main credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) to make mistakes? In fact it is thought that around 20 to 30 percent of the credit reports sent out are indeed wrong. Granted this is often a small mistake such as reporting the wrong month of an overdrawn account however these mistakes can hamper your credit rating. So what should you do if you need to dispute your credit report?
The First Steps
The first thing that you need to do if you want to dispute your credit report is ensure that you have received it from one of the main credit bureaus and not a third party agency. Not only are third party agencies known for pointing out flaws that don’t exist but they also cannot be contacted should you wish to enter into a dispute. Secondly you need to make sure that your credit report is only for a total of seven years – mistakes that are outside of this time limit are not able to be disputed.
The Right Way to Dispute
There are two main ways to dispute a credit report: by snail mail and online. Many people still prefer to go down the traditional route when it comes to filing a complaint and if this is the case make sure that you keep your complaint direct and to the point. Remember to include your address, your report number and the numbers of the reports you are disputing. If you choose to dispute your report online you will be asked to fill in a form on the credit bureau’s website. You will be guided through the process completely.
Ending the Dispute
Most people usually will hear back from the credit bureau within 45 days of submitting their dispute. Sometimes this can decrease to 30 days depending on whether you also paid a fee when submitting your enquiry.