5 Steps to Fixing Credit Report Errors and Lower Rates

Anywhere from 5% to 25% of credit reports contain serious errors, depending on different reporting sources. That’s as many as one-in-four Americans with an error on their credit report.

The most common are outdated personal information, mistaken or fraudulent accounts and incorrect account details. Here’s how to go about checking for and disputing those pesky credit report errors.

Step 1: Review your credit report for errors

Once you have your reports printed out go through each one, page by page. What are you looking for? If you find a credit report error, highlight or circle it.

Step 2: Gather proof of the error

Before you contact any credit bureau about a credit report error, make sure you have some proof to support your claim.

Step 3: Write to the credit bureaus

It may be old-fashioned, but the best way to dispute an error on your credit report is to draft a dispute letter. You’ll send this letter to the credit bureau(s) reporting the error to get it corrected. 

Step 4: Make a copy of everything

Copy the letter, the documents you’re using as proof and the page(s) of your credit report with the errors clearly marked. Keep these documents filed away so you can easily find them later.  

Step 5: Wait at least 30 days before following up on the credit report error

If it’s been more than 30 days since the credit bureau received your dispute, and you haven’t heard anything, contact the credit bureau to get an update on the status. 

What can I do if my credit dispute wasn’t successful?

There are a couple of reasons why these disputes fail:  -It was considered frivolous.  -It wasn’t an error.  -The credit bureau says it’s not an error, but you have proof otherwise. 

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