Our credit report attorneys deal with every type of credit reporting error.

Credit reports are often full of damaging inaccuracies. Studies show that inaccurate reports plague the credit industry:

  • 46-70% of all credit reports contain mistakes.
  • 40% of all credit reports contain public record information belonging to someone else, credit accounts that do not belong to the consumer or accounts incorrectly marked as delinquent.
  • 26% of credit errors are serious enough to deny an application for credit, housing or employment.

Here we feature some of the most common and most egregious errors:

Do you have inaccurate account information on your credit report?

If you are having problems related to inaccurate information on your credit report, we recommend that you investigate your credit history thoroughly. The information below may assist you with your efforts. In addition, you should attempt to collect the following information:

  • Copies of all credit reports containing the inaccurate information and any previous credit reports you may possess;
  • Copies of all dispute letters you wrote to the consumer reporting agencies or creditors and any responses you received;
  • Copies of all documents that prove the information you are disputing is indeed inaccurate; and
  • Copies of all documents that prove you have suffered damages as a result of the reporting errors: This includes letters turning you down for credit, notices of interest rate hikes, medical bills for stress-related ailments and other damages.

Dispute errors on your credit report

Step 1: Obtain your free credit reports

Obtaining your credit report is the first step in disputing any inaccurate or wrong information which may appear on it. Federal law requires the three national credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, to provide you with a free credit report every year. Most likely, each of these credit reporting agencies has a credit file on you. Get all three of your credit reports.

You can get your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only official site to help consumers obtain their free credit report. You may contact the credit reporting agencies directly, but consumer beware! These credit reporting agencies own businesses which easily trick the consumer into buying their credit scores rather than providing the consumer with their actual free credit report (legally known as the "consumer report").

Step 2: Initiate dispute with the credit reporting agency

Dispute errors on your credit report by using the FTC's sample complaint letter. Make copies of supportive documentation and mail your dispute to the credit reporting agency reporting the error(s). Mail your dispute letter & enclosures via certified mail - return receipt to: 

Trans Union
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000

Disputes: (800) 916-8800

https://dispute.transunion.com 

Equifax
Complaint Department
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Disputes: (866) 349-5191

Fraud Assistance Service Center: (888) 873-5420

https://www.equifax.com/personal/disputes  

Experian
NCAC
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

Disputes: (800) 583-4080

Disputes: (866) 200-6020

https://www.experian.com/ncaconline/dispute

Step 3: Initiate dispute with the furnisher

Contact the furnisher of the inaccurate information. Use the FTC's sample complaint letter to use to dispute inaccurate information with providers. 

Step 4: Wait for response

Credit reporting agencies must investigate disputes made by consumers. Thirty (30) days after the dispute is initiated, credit reporting companies are required (by law) to provide consumers with the results. The results should be accompanied by a free credit report. If the disputed is not resolved, consider seeking legal action.

 

Mixed Credit Reports

The credit reporting agencies collect information about you and store it in their databases. Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union all have their own database. This is why you have three different credit reports. The databases contain hundreds of millions of bits of raw data, referred to as credit files. Most consumers have more than one credit file. Credit files are used to generate credit reports. A mixed credit report is the result of a credit reporting agency’s inaccurate merging of credit information and/or an entire credit file belonging to one consumer into the credit report of another consumer.

Why do mixed credit reports happen?

There are many possible causes for the merging of credit files, but all of them relate in one way or another to the algorithms used by the consumer reporting agencies. A mixed credit report could be caused by an improper algorithm just as it could be caused by the inaccurate reporting of a consumer's personal information. 

Why so many credit files?

Numerous credit files may exist on a single consumer for the following reasons:

  • Consumer reporting agencies may not have enough information to say with the highest degree of certainty that each of the credit files should "merge."
  • The various creditors' records do not always identify an individual consumer in the same way. (One way may be by first and last name, and the other way would be by first, middle, and last name).
  • Consumers may use two or more names in their credit activities (such as nick names, maiden and married names, names with and without generational suffixes).
  • Consumers may have two or more addresses (such as home/school, work/home or vacation or second homes).
  • Creditor's records may misspell or invert letters in names, street addresses, or social security numbers.

Even though federal law requires credit reporting agencies to disclose any and all information relating to an individual consumer, numerous credit files often results in incomplete reporting. Incompleteness is not the only concern consumers should have. Take into account that there are many inaccuracies contained within the credit reporting agencies databases, and the more files to sort through and match increases in likeliness of inaccurate information being reported.

What to do if you have a mixed credit report?

If you suspect your credit report contains information belonging to someone else, dispute the information right away. For sample complaint letters and step-by-step instructions on how to dispute your credit report, click here.

More on Mixed or Merged Credit Reports

Background Screening

Cento Law explains what legal obligations employers have when conducting background checks on current or potential employees. Because background reports are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act employees are protected by this federal law when adverse actions are a result of an inaccurate background report. We further explain how a consumer can dispute inaccurate background checks. Watch now to hear more.

What to do if you are a victim of Identity Theft

  1. Call one of the credit reporting agencies. Tell them that your identity has been stolen. Ask them to put a fraud alert on your credit report. This alter will require businesses to confirm that you are you before they extend credit to you.
  2. Obtain your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  3. Visit IdentityTheft.gov and report identity theft and receive a personalized recovery plan designed to address your specific identity theft issue. 

Report identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov

Report identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov and receive a personalized recovery plan designed to address your specific identity theft issue.

This video explains how to use IdentityTheft.gov:

More about identity theft here.

Old Records on a Credit Report

Negative information such as: delinquencies, bankruptcies, charge-offs, loan defaults, foreclosures, lawsuits and judgments, and tax liens are barred from forever appearing on your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit reporting agencies to remove most negative information from your credit report after the time limit has expired. Reporting old, out of date information is against federal law.

According to the FCRA, credit reporting agencies cannot report negative information for an undetermined amount of time. In fact, negative information can only be reported for a specific amount of time.

  • Bankruptcies can be reported for ten (10) years.
  • Civil suits, judgments, and records of arrest can be reported for seven (7) years.
  • Paid tax liens can be reported for seven (7) years from the date of payment.
  • Accounts placed in collections can be reported for seven (7) years.

If out of date entries appear on your credit report, notify and dispute the information with the credit reporting agency right away. Federal law requires the credit reporting agencies to investigate your dispute. If your dispute has been ignored, you may seek legal action under the FCRA.

The Other Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs)

The national consumer reporting agencies (Trans Union, Equifax and Experian) are the most well known CRAs but there are others. Here we have begun to collect information which will assist you in identifying those CRAs and, if necessary, disputing inaccurate information reported by those agencies.

CoreLogic Credco

CoreLogic Credco is a consumer reporting agency. Specifically, CoreLogic Credco is what is known as a "reseller." In other words, CoreLogic Credco generates consumer reports from data obtained from Trans Union, Equifax and/or Experian. Although CoreLogic Credco is a reseller, it is subject to the same duties and obligations that the FCRA places on the national consumer reporting agencies, including, the duties regarding accuracy, reasonable procedures and consumer dispute processing.

If you discover that CoreLogic Credco has created a consumer report about you which contains inaccurate information, you can and should dispute that information directly with CoreLogic Credco. You can dispute credit information with CoreLogic Credco at:

CoreLogic Credco | Consumer Relations Department | P.O. Box 509124
San Diego, California 92150 | (800) 637-2422 | Reinvestigation Request Instructions