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Credit Report Disputes
If there is information on your credit report that is not accurate you may file a credit report dispute. This article has information on steps to take when disputing your credit report and identity fraud. Also information on Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Because your credit report is so important when it comes to your financial health and the decisions that affect your interest, insurance and other aspects of your personal finances, it is vital that it contains accurate information. Indeed, in many cases a credit report error can actually lower your credit score, and prevent you from getting the best possible deal on some loans. You should regularly check your credit report, and when you find an error, you should dispute.
Disputing your credit report
You have the right to dispute information on your credit report that is inaccurate. If there is an error, the credit bureaus are required to correct the problem or remove the information from your report. If the dispute is not settled to your satisfaction, you have the right to add a personal statement to your credit report, explaining your side of the dispute. There are some steps you should follow in order to have inaccurate information removed:
You should understand that you won't have accurate negative items removed from your credit report. If you have a late payment showing, and it really was late, no amount of disputing is going to change that. Credit bureaus only have to change your report if an error is found. And it is worth checking to make sure your credit report doesn't have errors, since they are more common than you might think.
In order to find out specifically what you may need to properly dispute your credit report, you can contact the credit bureaus, or visit their Web sites. Here is the information that can help you contact your credit bureaus:
You are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the credit bureaus, and you should make full use of that to check for errors. Most experts also recommend that you check your credit report at least once or twice a year in addition to your free report. This will allow you to catch mistakes faster.
If you have been a victim of identity fraud, and fraudulent accounts are showing up on your credit report, you follow a pattern similar to that of credit report disputes. However, you should first call the credit bureaus on the phone and request a fraud alert for your account. Then you should call local law enforcement and file a police report. Copies (not originals) of the police report should be use to help back up your claims of identity fraud with the credit bureaus.
When you have been a victim of identity fraud, you are entitled to two free credit reports a year from the credit bureaus. And you should use them to keep track of your accounts, since once you have been a victim, there is a reasonably good chance that you will be targeted again.
If something is not right on your credit report, you should do what is necessary to have the mistake corrected. It can mean the difference between approval and credit denial, as well as cost you hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars in interest charges.
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