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Published: Friday, May 31, 2019 @ 2:20 PM
As a consumer, your credit score should be very important to you. Not only does it determine your borrowing power, it also holds sway over many other areas of your life — but what if your credit score is wrong?
Perhaps you’ve heard the adage, “No one’s perfect.” Well, that also applies to the many models that determine your credit score.
In fact, one of the most frequent complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is regarding errors on peoples’ credit reports.
It’s very easy to check your credit report. By law, you are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once every 12 months.
Because mistakes happen fairly frequently, you should get your credit report every year.
Here’s how to get your free credit report from the following main credit bureaus:
You can also get your credit report by filling out this Federal Trade Commission form.
It’s no wonder people are complaining: Incorrect credit scores could be costing you thousands of dollars in interest rates. They can also affect everything from your insurance policies to whether you can rent an apartment.
If you find an error on your credit report, you need to dispute it with the credit bureau and the business that reported the information.
You’ll have to reach out to the business directly. Here’s how to contact each major credit bureau:
|Credit Bureau||Online||By phone||By mail|
|Fill out: Equifax dispute form||1- 866-349-5191||Equifax
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
|Fill out: Experian dispute form||Experian does not accept disputes via phone||Experian
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
|Fill out: TransUnion dispute form||1-800-916-8800||TransUnion
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Note: Experian now only accepts online submissions for disputes.
The credit bureaus will let you submit supporting documents online. If disputing by phone, the representative will tell you what they need and how to get it to them.
Remember: Keep your original documents. Only submit copies to the credit bureaus.
After you’ve submitted your dispute, the credit agency will notify you in writing that they have received it. If changes are made to your credit report, you will receive a free report in the mail, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
In many cases, disputes may not be handled the way you want them to be. Here are some options that consumers have:
One way to control what happens on your credit report is to freeze your credit. Money expert Clark Howard is such a big proponent of it that he has a Credit Freeze Guide to walk you though the process.
More credit and identity protection resources: