Have you been shocked to find that your credit score isn't in the 700's like you thought it was? Even if you haven't enjoyed a credit score that high, you have a right to be upset when you learn that a credit bureau error is bringing down the score on your credit report.
Unfortunately, credit report errors aren't all too uncommon. If you've found an error on your report, follow these steps to get the error fixed.
6 Steps: Fixing a Credit Report Error
1. First, pull up your credit report with all three of the bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. These credit bureaus operate independently of one another and do not share information amongst themselves. If an error with the bureau is affecting your score, then you shouldn't see any negative effects with the other two. If the error started somewhere outside of the bureaus, then all three of your reports may be lower than you expected.
2. Next, go to the offending credit bureaus website and search for how to file a problem with your credit report. With TransUnion, for example you would visit their webpage to dispute your report error. Each of the credit unions has a similar page that makes it easy to file a dispute.
3. Include as much detail as possible about your credit report issue. Hopefully you won't have to enter into any credit negotiations with your lenders during this period. The more information you include, the more effective your filing can be.
4. Next, be prepared to wait. Unfortunately, consumers are largely at the mercy of the credit bureaus. TransUnion, for example, claims that it can take up to 45 days to investigate into the accuracy of the information up for dispute. By filing the dispute accurately the first time, you can ensure that the process will move along expediently.
5. Once the credit bureau has fixed your problem, file away all documents. Keeping a detailed record of your dealings with the credit bureau is critical should the issue ever arise again. Also, if you have to seek out financial / legal assistance in the future, this information will be important to have on hand.
6. If you're still having problems with getting your credit report corrected, it may be time to hire a lawyer. A financial lawyer can help you get your credit report issues under control if anyone can. Also, if you've had to undergo credit negotiations during this time, then your lawyer may be able to help you earn damages to compensate for the additional loss.