What to Do if You Find Errors on Your Credit Report

OCT 28, 2011

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We all make mistakes. Sometimes theyre embarrassing but harmless, like discovering your shirt is inside out or you’ve forgotten the name of your co-workers spouse. Some mistakes can be very harmful, like the ones you might find on your credit report.  Only you can tell the difference.

Credit bureaus compile your credit report from many sources and the information on the report is only as reliable as the sources it came from. So if a creditor has made a mistake and reported an account delinquent when its actually up-to-date, the credit bureau would have no way of knowing if that information is accurate or not.

Common credit report errors include:

  • Outdated information
  • Information thats not yours at all
  • Accounts you’ve closed that remain listed as open
  • Accounts incorrectly marked delinquent
  • Public records like tax liens or judgments that belong to someone else
  • Misspelled names

Here’s what to do if you find errors on your credit report:

  • Get proof that its an error. You may need to get a letter from the creditor admitting the mistake.
  • Notify the credit bureau immediately and in writing, and explore the option of correcting an error online.
  • If you believe an error is actually an instance of fraud, notify the fraud divisions of all three consumer credit bureaus (even if the error appears on just one report) and have them place a fraud alert on your file. Also, alert the authorities.

Keep in mind that having an error removed from your credit report does not guarantee that youll improve your credit score. But you will get peace of mind knowing everything on your report is as accurate as possible.