What is a Credit Report?
Credit reporting attorney, G. John Cento, explains what a credit report actually is, and what it is not. The document which is provided to you by Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union is not a "credit report", but correctly referred to as a "consumer disclosure". This video further explains how a credit report is generated; and how credit reporting agencies provide credit reports to furnishers - It is very unlikely that you will actually ever see your real "credit report". Watch now to hear more.
How to Dispute Errors on a 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:
Consumer Disclosure Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
Phone: (800) 916-8800
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: (888) 873-5420
701 Experian Parkway
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (800) 583-4080
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.