Before I begin, it’s important for you to know 25% of consumer credit reports have errors and 15% of those are errors bad enough to negatively impact their credit scores. That means, 1 out of 5 consumers have errors on their credit report which is why checking your credit report every single month is extremely important.
Below are a few steps that will help you dispute and remove accounts from your credit report.
The first step is for you to obtain a copy of your credit report. If you don’t have a copy, I recommend you go to www.creditchecktotal.com where you will be able to access your credit report from all three major credit bureaus Experian, Transunion and Equifax, Running your report from this site won’t have a negative impact on your credit scores.
Ok, you have your credit report, what do you next?
You want to identify any negative accounts and or information such as:
- Inaccurate name
- Inaccurate information
- Social sec
- Date of birth
- Outdated information
- Open accounts
- Closed accounts
- Unknown addresses
- Inaccurate derogatory information
- Unknown accounts such as:
- Charge off
- Public records
- Aka’s (also known as)
Once you identified errors on your credit report, you want to write a Dispute Letter to each of the three credit bureaus where you explain the error and why you believe it needs to be corrected. Disputing anything on your credit report you believe is inaccurate is completely legal and the credit bureaus by law, have up to 30 days from the moment they receive your first letter to investigate the account in question and respond to you via mail.
When sending your dispute letter, its important you include the following:
- Letterhead address to each specific bureau
- Account numbers for each account in question
- List other type of errors you found on your report
- A valid reason why you believe they are reporting in error
- These accounts do not belong to me is not a valid reason
- Copy of Driver’s License or State ID
- Copy of Social Security Card
- Utility bill verifying home address
You have your dispute letter written out and it’s ready to be mailed out to each of the three credit bureaus, what happens next? Should you mail your dispute letter certified mail? Should you sign your dispute letter?
You do not need to send your dispute letter certified mail and you do not need to sign your letter as well, there is no need for the credit agencies to have your signature on record and God forbid they send a copy of the letter along with your signature to a debt collection company and boom, they now have your signature handy.
Ok, your letter is off in the mail and the nail biting begins. Remember, the credit agencies have a period of up to 30 days to review your dispute letter and complete their investigation so the first round should take no more than 45 days, that is including the time it takes for your letters to reach their perspective destination and the time it takes for your results to be delivered to your home.
Fast forward, you received your results and you want to at this point, check your credit report for any updates and or changes that might have occured from you disputing the accounts in error. If there were any positive changes, you should see your credit scores improve by now.
Congratulations! You are now on the road to a healthier credit score and now that you know how to dispute information in question on your credit report, rest assure you are on the right road to a healthier credit score.
If you identified any type of error on your credit report, it is extremely important you dispute it with its perspective credit bureau immediately. Errors on your credit report can have a negative impact on your scores and might make it difficult for you to obtain credit cards, loans, a mortgage and even a job. Repairing your credit can be time consuming but with patience, hard work and dedication, succeeding will result in a healthy credit score.