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How to Fix an Error on Your Credit Report

Seeing errors on your credit report can be troubling, but correcting them is a matter of diligence and patience. The overall process should take less than 30 days. After discovering errors on your credit report, here are the next steps to take to have corrections made.

Document the Errors

The first step to fix any error on your credit report is to prove that the information listed is wrong. Common errors you may find are incorrect spending limits on each of your credit cards or a monthly payment that was mistaken as late. In both of these examples, you should attach official documents from your bank and clearly circle or highlight the correct spending limit. Overall, you want to make sure that you find the document with the right information and make a clear reference to dispute the error. Repeat this step for each error and provide separate documentation for each.

Write a Dispute Letter

Like a cover letter for a school or job application, your dispute letter will clearly explain the information that you have attached for the credit bureau to review. The Federal Trade Commission offers these guidelines to follow when writing your letter. To summarize these points:

1. Make a copy of both your letter and credit report with all of the errors highlighted or circled and include this when you mail your package.

2. State the facts, and why you are disputing certain information on your credit report.

3. There is a sample letter provided by the FTC that you may use for your disputes.

What Comes Next

The credit bureau will typically investigate your dispute within 30 days. In that time, wait patiently while the credit bureau notifies your creditor or lender to confirm the mistake on your credit report. Once everything is confirmed, the credit bureau will inform you of the outcome of each error and provide a revised credit report that indicates what changes were made. If you have not received a response after 40 days, you should follow up.

After any negative errors are corrected, your credit score should increase. Your credit score is like a grade in school. Depending on how good your credit score is, you can save a lot of money when receiving a loan or purchasing a new car.