Like the responsible person that your are, you order and review your credit report every 12 months. Since you usually agree with everything on the credit report, this is normally a routine, mundane procedure – until this time that is. This time you discover an error. Naturally, your first question is likely "How do I fix my credit report?" Let's walk through the procedure.
Credit Fix Step 1 – Make copies of everything that you think will be helpful to prove the error
You will have to send documentation to both the credit reporting agency and the creditor to support your error claim. These entities usually accept copies so you don't want to send the originals. Obviously, by retaining the originals, you will always be able to replace lost copies. By retaining the originals, you will also have your own documentation for future follow-up.
Credit Fix Step 2 – Contact the Credit Reporting Agency
The credit reporting agency, or credit bureau, must investigate all legitimate, written questions, so make sure you put your claim in writing. Negative but accurate information does not constitute a legitimate claim. To minimize possible damage to your reputation, always file your claim as soon as you possibly can.
In your written claim to the credit bureau, Include your name and address and provide a narrative of the item (s) in your report that you believe is wrong. Clearly and concisely explain why you believe the item (s) is wrong and request that they remove the item from your report. Also include copies (made in Step 1 above) supporting your position. When you mail this information to the credit bureau, send it by certified mail with return receipt requested. This will document when the credit agency received your information. This is important for two reasons; 1) the credit bureau is required to investigate all legitimate claims within 30 days of receipt of notice and 2) you will be certain the credit bureau received your information. Now, while they may investigate your claim within 30 days, don't expect resolution that quickly. There investigation can take longer than30 days. In fact, the entire process can take up to 90 days or longer to complete.
Of course, keep your own copies of the letter and supporting documentation.
Credit Fix Step 3: Contact the merchant
Again in writing, contact the creditor or other entity that provided the item (s) in question and inform them that you are disputing the information they provided to the credit bureau. Follow the same procedures in step 2 above. Additionally, ask the creditor to copy you on all information they supply to the credit reporting agency.
Once a claim has been filed, the creditor has to include the fact that a claim has been filed anytime they report the same information that caused the dispute in the first place in any further reports to the credit bureau (until it is resolved). Remember though, that negative but accurate information is not grounds for a claim.
Because of the important role credit reports place in society today, fixing errors on your report is vitally important. Since items can stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years, it is even more important that you take action right away to fix any potential error.
These are the three steps that you will need to follow to answer the question; "how do I fix my credit report?" Of course, filing a claim doesn't ensure that the credit bureau and / or the creditor will agree with your claim. Filing a claims only ensures that there will be an investigation. If the credit bureau's investigation discovers that there was no error, the information will stay on your credit report, with no indication of claim.