How to Dispute a Credit Report Error

A mistake on your credit report can be devastating. It can lead to a bad credit score even if you're a responsible spender. 

However, mistakes are common. Negative information can remain on your report for seven years. Here's how to dispute a credit report error.

There are three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). They provide free annual reports. Check the information on the report as soon as possible.

1. Get a copy of your credit report

Make sure your personal information is up-to-date and accurate. Then look at your account information: payment history, account balances, credit inquiries. Make sure old information is not on there.

2. What to look for?

If you find a mistake, you'll need to file a dispute. First, open an individual account with the credit bureau. Then follow their process. Submitting online will be faster than through mail.

3. Deal with the credit bureau

After dealing with the credit bureau, you'll need to contact the lender. Provide information that would be helpful: canceled payment checks, bankruptcy paperwork, account statements, police reports, etc.

4. File your dispute with the lender

Getting rejected is frustrating. Luckily, you can file again and provide more information. You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can hire an attorney. You're legally allowed to write a 100-word statement to attach to your credit report.

5. If your dispute gets rejected

TAP THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE on how to dispute a credit report error.