Obtaining and reviewing your credit report might seem intimidating, but it’s actually pretty simple when you know what to do, and in what order.
1st Step: Get copies of all 3 credit reports
You can also request your credit reports by telephone by calling 877-322-8228 or by submitting this form and mailing it to:
Annual Credit Report, Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281 and they will be mailed to you. It’s a good idea to include a copy of your current driver’s license, a recent utility bill, or a copy of your pay stub to expedite the process.
2nd Step: Go over each report and check each account for accuracy
Just because two reports are correct doesn’t mean that the third one doesn’t contain errors. If there are accounts on any of the reports you don’t recognize, or if there is incorrect information, you’ll need to take action to get that corrected.
While you’re at it, review the inquiries section of each report to see who has accessed it. You might find that there are companies you don’t recognize on there, to whom you have not given your permission – either by having an existing relationship, or by making an application for credit with them. Anyone that illegally accesses your credit report without permission violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
No one wants to see negative information on their credit report. If your credit report shows inaccurate or incomplete information, you can submit a dispute asking the credit reporting agency to investigate the information in question. Use this dispute letter and customize it to suit your situation.
The dispute will be sent by the three credit bureaus to the furnisher (creditor) that holds the account. If the creditor determines that the account is being reported incorrectly, they will update or remove the account to correct the information.
An online dispute is the one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Many online dispute forms contain arbitration clauses, which can undercut your consumer rights. The credit bureaus bury waiver clauses in the click agreement. By clicking, “I accept,” you’re giving up the right to sue them if they do something wrong.
This is a mess and I’m lost on how to handle it. How can I get assistance?
It’s free to chat with me about the most effective way to file disputes with the credit bureaus – you can call or text me at 215.551.7109, or drop me a line.