Business

Tips on disputing errors on your credit report

Disputing credit report errors can be complicated and frustratingly slow. But it is also necessary — to avoid paying more on loans and credit cards. Some tips:

Get your reports

You are entitled to a free report every 12 months from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. See annualcreditreport.com.

File a dispute

Online at equifax.com, experian.com, or
transunion.com; by mail; or by phone.

Be patient

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Credit bureaus must respond within 30 days. The credit bureau will contact the lender; if a fix is made, the lender must alert all three credit bureaus. The credit bureau must provide written results and a free copy of your report if there’s a change. This does not count as your annual report.

Contact lenders

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Another option: Reach out to the lender and ask it to update the credit bureaus.

Contact the CFPB

Not getting anywhere with the credit bureaus? Try the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; it accepts complaints from consumers who have trouble getting mistakes corrected.

Avoid credit-repair firms

Firms claiming they can improve a credit score or report for a fee can’t do anything you can’t do.