Credit Report Errors? Know Your Rights
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We expect that our credit and consumer reports are private and that all of the information contained in them is accurate. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to make sure that is indeed the case.
The FCRA regulates the collection, dispersion, and storage of consumer information. Basically, it regulates the way credit and consumer reporting agencies are allowed use your information.
What is a Credit Reporting Agency?
Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) collect and report credit related information on consumers.
The three largest and well known CRAs are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Companies contact credit reporting agencies when doing credit checks. These credit checks are performed for many reasons, including but not limited to, employment screenings, loan and credit card approvals, apartment rental applications and bank account approvals.
When the information in your credit report is incorrect you have the right to dispute it and get it corrected.
The FCRA Protects You From Credit Report Errors
- You have the right to dispute errors – According to the Fair Credit reporting Act, you have the right to report any mistakes to the agency that supplied the report that contains the false information, and that agency is required to look into the mistake
- Mistakes must be removed – once you have reported an error on your credit report or background check, and the reporting agency cannot verify that the information they have is correct, they must remove the error within 30 days.
- Outdated negative information cannot be reported – when you have had credit issues in the past and they have been resolved, they can only show on your credit report for up to 7 years, the only exception is a bankruptcy and that can only show for 10 years.
- You have the Right To Sue for Damages – the FCRA also gives consumers the right to sue credit reporting agencies for damages, that have violated the FCRA. In some cases you may also be able to sue the person/agency that used the incorrect credit report against you.
- For more, view our Summary of Your Rights Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Disputing Errors On Your Credit Report
If you notice an error on your report, notify the credit bureau via mail or an online form.
Check out our tools to help you notify the credit reporting agencies of errors:
- Online Dispute Form. Use this form for us to create a letter for you, and you can print yourself a copy and a copy to mail to the credit reporting agency
- Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter – though there should be a form sent with your credit report for disputing mistakes, that is not always the case. Use our sample letter to create your own credit report dispute letter. Make sure you keep a copy for your records as well.
TIP: In the event that you feel that your identity is compromised, you can put a freeze on your credit report for a period of 90 days so no one can access it.
Once the credit report agency receives your dispute, they forward the dispute form to the furnisher and then they perform their investigation and report back with the revised/corrected information.
Both the credit reporting agency and the furnisher (a bank or creditor) are supposed to do independent investigations.
Unfortunately, most credit reporting agencies do not spend much time investigating which leads to non-removal of the error. This means that second or third attempts are sometimes needed but do not guarantee the error will be resolved.
Don’t Fight Credit Report Errors Alone
If you have gotten nowhere with the credit reporting agency and they are not removing mistakes, and continue to damage your credit you need to contact Francis & Mailman and their team of experienced consumer law attorneys. They are here to fight for you and get your credit report fixed, and get you the compensation you deserve.
Don’t let credit report errors continue to ruin your credit score and your reputation. Fill out our online form, or call us now at 1-877-735-8600 for a free consultation.