Credit reports impact many aspects of your life — from getting approval on loans to purchase an automobile or finance a home, to being hired for a job or renting an apartment. Therefore, the accuracy of a credit report is extremely important as this information impacts credit decisions.
Errors on credit reports are common.
The Federal Trade Commission released a report indicating that 1 in 5 consumers that examined their credit reports found mistakes. Sometimes those errors occur due to someone else’s information appearing on your report. Common errors include misspelled names, wrong or outdated addresses, wrong birth date, incorrect social security number, outdated or incorrect employment history, or reporting you as deceased when you aren’t. These errors may occur because of:
Sometimes data is entered incorrectly
Someone open accounts in your name
Your name may be similar to someone else; you may share other common information, such as a birth date or a similar social security number, or you may have the same name and address but are a Jr., Sr., III.
Sometimes incorrect information is filled out on an application, or you may have used a different variation of your name, such as calling yourself “Jon” instead of “Jonathan”.
Errors that appear on credit reports must be corrected.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the credit bureaus and creditors to accurately report your information and preserve your privacy.
Steps to Correct Credit Report Errors
Request a Current Credit Report
Every twelve months you can request one free credit report from each credit bureau – Transunion, Experian, and Equifax. You’ll need to provide proof of identity, such as a current driver’s license, pay stub or utility bill, for security purposes. You can also access your credit report online at: annualcreditreport.com.
Review Your Report
Review your report and check for any inaccuracies. Make sure that your name, address, and social security number are correct. Look for any listings that you don’t recognize. Unfamiliar accounts could be someone else’s information or a mis-merged file.
If you see someone else’s information, you need to write and dispute the credit report directly with that bureau. Include a copy of the incorrect report with the disputed item highlighted. Briefly state the reason why this item is incorrect and attach any supporting documentation that explains the error. Send your letter to the bureau by Certified Mail, Return Receipt. The bureaus have 30 days to respond to your dispute. Be sure to keep copies of all dispute correspondence to and from the credit bureaus.
Seek Legal Help
Flitter Milz is a consumer protection law firm that represents victims with credit reporting errors. If the credit bureaus have not corrected inaccurate information on your report, Contact Us for a free legal review. We will evaluate whether your consumer rights have been violated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.