Errors on your credit report can hurt your chances of establishing credit, getting a bank loan, and getting hired for a job. To correct your report, write an effective dispute letter.
Step 1: Make copies of credit report and related documents Make copies of your credit report and all support documents, such as payment records, cancelled checks, and court documents.
TIP: Do not enclose original documents with your credit dispute letter. They can get lost.
Step 2: Start letter with your contact information Start your credit report dispute letter with your contact information, including your complete name and address, e-mail address, and your social security number.
Step 3: Include consumer reporting company’s contact info Include a paragraph with the name and address of the consumer reporting agency's complaint department or the name and address of the creditor that provided the incorrect information on your credit report.
TIP: There are three nationwide consumer reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Step 4: Clearly describe each incorrect credit report item LIst and clearly describe each incorrect item in the credit report. For example, "Item #1: I dispute XYZ Bank. My account number is 12345. I have never been late on this account."
TIP: Circle all disputed information on the enclosed copies of your credit report.
Step 5: Request disputed items be corrected or removed Request that the consumer reporting company or creditor entity correct or remove the disputed items from the credit report.
Step 6: Send letters by certified mail with return receipt Go to the post office and send the credit dispute letters by certified mail with a return receipt request. This serves as a means to track the letters.
FACT: The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that each of the national consumer reporting companies provide you with a free credit report once every 12 months upon your request.