The Federal Trade Commission had formulated and enforced Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a US federal law in 1970. This act along with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) forms the foundation of consumer credit rights in the US.
FCRA regulates the compilation, distribution and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. These credit reports are compiled by three credit bureaus. They contain information about you and how you paid your bills. You can submit a Report to FCRA should you find any discrepancies in the report.
You are legally entitled to one free copy of the credit report from each of the credit bureaus annually. You can acquire a copy of the report from them and evaluate it thoroughly for any mistakes. FCRA gives you the right to dispute any information that you find wrong in the report.
How to file a Credit Report Dispute
First and foremost you must alert the bureau and the information provider of any incorrect information in writing.
All such documents that support your report should be included with your dispute. You may include photocopies of the supporting documents and keep the originals for further reference. These documents can consist of bank statements or cancelled checks and / or any such financial documents.
In your report, include your name, complete address, the information you are disputing, and the reasons why you are disputing. Sending your dispute via certified mail with return receipt request will ensure a proper proof of your sending the statement as well as it reaching the bureau.
What will the bureau do?
It is mandatory for the bureau to investigate your complaint and reply in 30 days with the results of the investigation. The bureau sends whatever report you sent them to the information provider to scrutinize. If there is any change in your credit report after this, the bureau will send you a free copy of your report. You may request them to send a copy of the corrected report to the companies that accessed your credit report during the last six months.
It is pertinent to mention here that if your credit report is inaccurate in one bureau's report it will have inaccurate information in the other two bureaus also. Hence, you must contact the other two bureaus to get corrected reports from them as well.