Credit reporting agencies, or what are commonly known as credit
bureaus, including Trans Union, Equifax and Experian, have from
time to time been known to report inaccurate information on credit
reports. Inaccurate information can lead to a loss of credit by
either a denied application, or by a current creditor closing or
reducing a line of credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
gives consumers the right to request an investigation into the
In order to open up an investigation, you will need to show proof
that there is an error on your credit report in the form of payment
of a bill, a letter from your creditor, or proper identification if
any of the information contained in the report does not belong to
you. In the case of identity theft, you will likely be asked to
produce a police report.
The next step will be to write a letter directly to the credit
reporting agencies, disputing the incorrect items on your report.
While each credit reporting agency has its own on-line dispute
process, you may want to reconsider using it as it is very limiting
in what you can say and how you can use it to dispute
Your dispute should be written out and mailed to the three major
credit reporting agencies: Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. Be
sure to follow-up by sending a copy to any creditor listed on your
report that you claim is reporting inaccurately. The FCRA mandates
that any credit reporting agency that receives your dispute must
investigate and promptly notify any creditors about whom you are
complaining, in order to enlist them in the investigation. Credit
bureaus have a duty under the FCRA to conduct an investigation to
verify your claims; the investigation process can take no longer
than 30 days and you will receive a response in the mail.
If any company fails to reasonably investigate your dispute within
the allotted time frame, you could be entitled to monetary damages.
In addition, the FCRA provides that if a consumer is successful in
bringing a claim under this law, not only could you be entitled to
compensation for these damages, but your attorneys’ fees and costs
are covered. The good news is that if you do find an error on your
credit report, the credit bureaus agencies can be held accountable
if they have reported inaccurate information on credit reports.