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How To Fix Errors On Your Credit Report

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How To Fix Errors On Your Credit Report

When it comes to your credit report, even a small error can have a big impact. Credit errors can potentially cause your score to drop, leading to several consequences. Such consequences can include shrinking your ability to open a new credit account or loan.

If you come across an error on your credit report, here are a few tips to get it taken care of.

Check Your Credit Thoroughly

Three major credit bureaus provide your main credit reports: Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Experian and TransUnion. Many online credit accounts, such as MoneyLion, allow you to monitor your credit regularly free of charge. If you notice an error on one credit report, make sure you look into the other two as there may be minor differences between them.

Most Common Errors

If you do find incorrect information on your credit report, try to figure out its source. The most common errors include:

  • Wrong account numbers
  • Inaccurate loan balances or credit limits
  • An ex-spouse that is still listed on a credit card or loan
  • Incorrect account status (such as a falsely reported late payment)
  • Extra accounts that aren’t yours

Such errors can have a major negative impact on your credit score, or even entice the idea of identity theft. There are also errors that don't affect your credit score, including outdated information (i.e., an old phone number) or a misspelling.

Fixing The Credit Report Error

Once you’ve spotted the error, take action as soon as possible to ensure the false information is corrected. Contact the credit bureaus that reported the error. Each of the three bureaus has the option to contact by phone, letter or through their online services. You will be asked to provide your personal and contact information, including a government-issued piece of identification, social security number, copy of a bank or utility bill that provides your address and the errors you are reporting.

In addition to contacting the credit bureaus, you should contact the company responsible for the error, also known as the furnisher. Explain the information you are disrupting to the credit bureau as well as a copy of the information that supports your reason for concern. Most furnishers list their mailing address on the credit report. If that isn't the case, contact the company for the correct information.

Once the credit bureau has processed your dispute they must investigate and confirm the information with the furnisher. In most situations, you will hear a response from the bureau following a minimum of 30 days.

Watch For Updates On Your Credit Report

If the disputed error was able to be resolved, it still may take some time to show up on your report. The time it takes for the furnisher to send over their information and the update cycle of the bureau can vary. Contact the bureau if the updated information doesn’t appear on your report after a few months.

Posted-In: Education Personal Finance General Best of Benzinga

 

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