December 3, 2008  
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Featured Issue: Know the Score on Your Credit Score

Correcting Mistakes On Your Credit Report

What to do when you find incorrect information on your credit report

  1. If you find items you don't agree with on your credit report it's your right to dispute them. Use the "dispute form" that usually comes with your credit report.
  2. Explain what you believe to be inaccurate in your report on the form. Mail it back to the credit reporting bureau. Attach extra pages if there isn't enough space on the form. Keep copies of everything you send.
  3. The credit bureau has 30 days to answer your dispute. If the company that provided the information you believe to be inaccurate thinks that the information is correct, it will stay on your report.



What to do if the credit bureau won't correct inaccuracies

  1. Call the company that provided the inaccurate information to the credit bureau. Incorrect information is sometimes located in that company's records.
  2. Worst case, the law allows you to add a 100-word statement to your credit report. Anyone who accesses your credit history must be informed about that statement, although consumer advocates continue to complain that this may not be uniformly or reliably handled by all bureaus all of the time.

What to include in a 100 word statement

  1. Be brief, because if you don't keep it short the credit bureau may edit it - and your points may be lost.
  2. Itemize clearly why you believe specific information is inaccurate.
  3. Mention even accurate information in your credit report if it was the result of events beyond your control.
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