Disputing errors in credit reports

Your credit report contains information about where you live, how you pay your bills, whether you’ve been sued, arrested or filed for bankruptcy. The reporting companies will sell consumer information in your credit report to credit grantors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use this information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment or renting a home. The federal Act Fair Credit Reporting promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the records of the reporting companies consumers.

Some financial advisers and organizations that advocate on behalf of consumers recommend checking your credit report regularly. The reasons?

Because the information contained in your credit report affects your chances of getting a loan – and how much you pay for borrowing money.

So before you apply for a loan to make a large purchase such as a house or car, buy insurance or apply for a job, you can make sure the information in your report is accurate and complete and updated.

To help protect against identity theft, which occurs when someone uses your personal information – such as your name, Social Security number or credit card number – to commit fraud. Identity thieves may use your information to open a new
credit card account in your name. Then when they do not pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported on your credit report. This type of inaccurate information could affect your ability to obtain credit, insurance or employment.

How to order your free report

Act Fair Credit Reporting requires that, upon request, each of the reporting companies consumers around the country – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to provide every 12 months a free copy of your credit report.

The three companies reporting consumers nationwide have established a Web site, a toll-free access and a mailing address through which you can order your free annual credit report. To request your credit report, visit annualcreditreport.com (in English), call 1-877-322-8228 or complete the Annual Credit Report Request called Form (in English) and mail to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

The form must be completed in English and in the back of this brochure; if you wish, you can print it from ftc.gov/credito. Do not contact individually with each of the three reporting companies nationwide consumer.

You can request your credit report from all three reporting companies nationwide consumer at the same time, or you can ask only one or two companies. Act Fair Credit Reporting gcredit-dispute-repairives you the right to request a free copy to each of the reporting companies every 12 months consumers.

To order your report, you need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and birth date. If you have moved during the last two years, you may have to provide your previous address. In order to maintain the security of registration, each company reports the consumers may ask for some information that only you would know, such as the monthly mortgage payment. Each company may ask you for different information because the information in your file may come from different sources.

Other situations that may give right to a free report

You are also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you, such as denying your application for credit, insurance or employment, and this refusal is based on information in your credit report. You must request your report within 60 days from the date of receipt of the notification of adverse action. In the notice will state the name, address and telephone number of the company’s consumer reports.

You are also entitled to one free report if you are unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you are on public assistance; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, such as the identity theft.

Otherwise, one reporting company may charge consumers up to $ 11.00 per each additional credit report requested within 12 months. To purchase a copy of your report, please contact with:

Experian: 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800

Equifax: 1-800-685-1111

How to fix bugs

According to the provisions of the Act Fair Credit Reporting both the reporting company consumers and the information provider (that is the person, company or organization that provides information about you to the reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To protect all your rights under the law, contact the reporting company and consumer information provider.

First step

Communicate in writing to the company reporting consumers what information you believe is inaccurate. Use this sample letter. Include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each of the recorded data in your report that you dispute or question, describe the facts and explain why you dispute the information and request the correction or deletion data. Along with your letter, you can include a copy of your report with the data questioned circled. Send your letter by certified mail, “return receipt” so you can document the receipt thereof. Keep copies of your dispute letter and all documents attached.

Reporting companies must investigate consumer data in question – usually within 30 days – unless they consider your dispute is unfounded. They should also refer to the information provider all relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy of the data recorded. After the information provider receives notice from the company notifying the consumer reporting the dispute, it must be investigated, you should review all relevant information provided by the reporting company and finally to inform consumers results revision of the reporting company consumers. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three reporting companies nationwide consumer so they can correct this information in your records.

Upon completion of the investigation, the reporting company must inform consumers in writing the results and provide a free copy of your report if due to the presentation of their dispute any change was made in his report. This free report is not considered as free annual report they are entitled to all consumers. If an item is changed or removed, the reporting company can not put consumers back the information in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The company reports consumers should also give you a written notice in which the name, address and telephone number of the information provider is included.

If you request, the reporting company must send notices consumers of all corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months. For employment purposes, you may request copies of your corrected those who had received a copy of your report within the last two years are sent registration.

If after the investigation carried out not resolve your dispute, you can ask the company to consumer reporting to include in its registry and in future reports a statement to express their dispute. You can also ask the company reports consumers to submit its statement on the dispute to those who had received a copy of his report last year. You may have to pay a fee for this service you provide.

Second step

Write to the creditor or other information provider notifying that you dispute an item. Use this sample letter. Be sure to include copies (NOT originals) of documents that support your position. Many providers specify an address for disputes forward. If the provider reports the company information to a consumer reporting you must include a notice of your dispute. And if you’re right – it means, if it is discovered that the information is inaccurate – the information provider may not report it again.

If the information provider continues to report the data in question to the credit reporting company, you have to let the company know credit reporting on the dispute. And if it turns out you’re right – mean that found that the disputed information was incorrect or incomplete – information provider has to tell the credit reporting company to change or delete the data.


It is possible that your credit report does not reflect all your credit accounts. Although most accounts department stores across the country and accounts for all credit cards issued by banks in order to be included in your registration, not all institutions provide information that credit reporting companies to consumers Some local merchants, credit unions and travel companies, entertainment, retail gasoline cards do not.

When negative information in your report is accurate, only the passage of time can assure its removal. A reporting company consumers can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information on bankruptcy or for a period of 10 years. Information on judgments against whose amounts are unpaid can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations expires, whichever came later. There is no time limit for reporting the data on criminal convictions; information reported in response to an application for employment with a salary of $ 75,000 or higher and the information reported as a result of the submission of an application for credit or life insurance over $ 150,000 worth. There is a standard method for calculating the reporting period of seven years. Generally, the period expires at the expiry of the relevant period from the day of occurrence of the event in question.