You have the right to dispute any information on your credit report you believe to be inaccurate. You should review your credit report once per year to see if anything looks out-of-place. Accounts on your credit report that you do not recognize could be a sign your identity has been stolen. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once per year by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
To correct errors on your credit report:
- Contact the credit reporting agency in writing. Tell the agency exactly which information on your report you believe to be inaccurate. Be sure to include your full name and address. You may wish to include a copy of your report highlighting the information you are disputing as well as any documentation you have to support your claim that the information is inaccurate. The FTC offers a sample letter which you can use to contact the credit reporting agencies. Keep a copy of everything you send them, and send the letter by certified mail so you know when it has been received.
- The credit reporting agency will investigate your request. When the investigation is complete, the agency will contact you with the results, and a free copy of your report if the problem has been corrected. Upon your request, the agency must also send notices of the correction to anyone who received a copy of your report in the past six months.
- If your dispute is not resolved, request a dispute statement be placed in your file. After investigating, if the credit reporting agency still believes the information is correct, you are entitled to provide up to a 100-word statement to be placed on your report explaining why you believe the information is incorrect.