Your credit report affects a number of things in your life, such as your ability to get an auto loan, finance a home, and even find employment or rent an apartment. This is why it’s important to regularly check your credit report to ensure that all the information it contains is accurate and up to date.
Credit report errors can happen for a number of reasons, including having someone else’s information listed. Follow these steps to ensure that someone else’s information isn’t listed on your report.
Request Your Credit Report
You can request one free credit report from each credit bureau – Transunion, Experian, and Equifax – every twelve months. You’ll need to provide proof of identity for security purposes. Along with your Credit Report Request letter, you should include two forms of identification such as a copy of a current driver’s license, recent utility bill, or current pay stub. You can also access your credit report online.
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. Send your letter to the bureau by Certified Mail, Return Receipt. The bureaus have 30 days to respond to your dispute.
If the bureau does not correct your report, contact a credit report dispute attorney.
Check Reports Regularly
Don’t forget to continue to check your credit report regularly. This will ensure that your information is correct and up to date.