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Fix your credit report

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to correct errors you may find on your credit report. The key is to act quickly, document everything and follow these tips:

  1. Contact the appropriate credit bureau regarding the error.

Equifax
(800) 525-6285 • www.equifax.com
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta GA 30374-0241

Experian
(888) 397-3742 • www.experian.com
P.O. Box 9532, Allen TX 75013

TransUnion
(800) 680-7289 • www.transunion.com
Fraud Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton CA 92834-6790

  1. If you are currently applying for a loan, inform your lender of the potential error. Let them know you are working to resolve the issue.

  2. Once the error has been corrected, ask the credit bureau to send an updated credit report to potential lenders. You can also request that updated credit reports are sent to anyone who requested a copy in the past six months.

  3. If the error cannot be resolved, file a statement with the credit bureau. Write a brief explanation (100 words or less) describing your dispute. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your report you dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request that it be removed or corrected. Send your letter by certified mail, “return receipt requested,” so you can document what the credit reporting company received. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures. This statement can be appended to your report at no charge.

Sample dispute letter:

Date
Your Name
Your Address, City, State, Zip Code

Complaint Department
Name of Company
Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. I have circled the items I dispute on the attached copy of the report I received.

This item (identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.) is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be removed (or request another specific change) to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records and court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Your name

Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing.)

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