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    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.