Staff Contributor

Your credit score affects so many aspects of your life that it's important that it is as accurate as possible. That's why you should always notify the correct parties when you notice an error on a credit report.

The problem is that this process is anything but easy for people disputing an error on their credit for the first time. Below is a quick step-by-step outline of everything you need to do in order to dispute that error.

1. Acquire a Credit Report

Before you can dispute an error, you must verify that it is there. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are the three major credit bureaus that most companies use to verify your credit.

You can and should obtain free reports from each of these bureaus. You can pay for additional reports when you need them. You only need to dispute the error with the credit bureaus that do have the error on their report.

2. Compile Your Letter and Evidence

You should begin drafting a dispute letter for each bureau that has reported the error. When the bureaus receive your letter, they will have 30 days to correct the error.

The company that reported the information will be allowed to do their own investigation to check the legitimacy of your dispute.

To start this, you'll need to provide evidence that proves there is an error in your reported credit. This may be on your mortgage information, banking documents or another paper. Include a copy that outlines the evidence.

3. Wait for the Results

The bureaus have 30 days to report to you about the results of the investigations. They are required to provide you with free credit reports during this time, which you can use to verify how the dispute was resolved.

4. Send another Letter

Mail gets lost, and sometimes disputes can be overlooked. The error may still legitimately be there, which means that your credit is still tarnished. Send another letter of dispute to the credit bureaus to start the process again.

If your disputes continue to go unanswered or the items persist, then it may be time to employ legal aid.


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