Improving Your Credit Report

Even if you think you have a wonderful credit report, be wary of the error factor. Just as you receive mail with your name and address misspelled, your credit report can have errors as well. Whether it's human error, out of date information or even mistaken identity, errors occur more easily than we'd all like to think.

Under the law, both the credit reporting agency and the organization that provided the information to the credit reporting agency have responsibilities for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your credit report.

So, if you find an error on your report, be sure to notify the credit bureau in writingimmediately:

1. Tell the CRA what information you believe is inaccurate on your credit report. Include copies, never originals of documents that support your position.

2. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item in your credit report that you dispute. State the facts and why you are disputing the information. Enclosing a copy of your credit report with the items in question circled can be helpful.

3. Though you may think your reason for writing is obvious, be sure to request that the error be corrected.

4. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested so you can document what the credit reporting agency received. Make sure your letter is dated, and don't forget to keep copies of everything you send.

Credit reporting agency must reinvestigate the item(s) in question, usually within 30 days unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all relevant data you send them to the information provider (bank, credit card agency, etc.).

After the information provider receives notification of a dispute from the credit reporting agency, it must review and investigate all relevant information provided and report the results back to the credit reporting agency.

If the information provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate, it must notify all nationwide credit reporting agency so that they can correct this information in your file.

Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your file.

Inaccurate information must be corrected by the CRA.

Incomplete information must be corrected by the CRA.

Any account that belong only to another person must be deleted by the CRA.

NOTE: Credit repair can be long and tedious, the importance of knowing your rights cannot be emphasized enough so be sure you take time to digest this information.

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