One of the biggest hassles facing consumers in California is attempting to fix a mistake on their credit reports. Consumers have complained about error-filled credit reports for years. But credit agencies have not done much to prevent errors or simplify the process for fixing them.

Consumer rights advocates point out that the number of errors present in credit reports would not be acceptable in any other industry. One explanation for this is the fact that the consumers are not viewed as customers by these agencies. Credit agencies have more interest in the satisfaction of banks and other financial institutions.

Knowledge is empowering

The burden for correcting inaccurate credit reports belongs to the consumer. The first step in the process is to obtain a copy of the credit report. Studies show that slightly more than one in three consumers viewed their credit report within the past year. This fact is true even though federal regulations require that consumers enjoy free access to one credit report a year.

Attention to detail is crucial

Consumers should review their reports carefully and prepare themselves to file a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau if they discover an error. Simple problems like incorrect account numbers, outdated addresses, and misspelled will not require much time to fix. Credit bureaus are also required by law to block fraudulent activity within four days when evidence of identity theft is detected.

Dispute filings can take place online or through the mail. Consumers should include records of bill payments, account statements, and other evidence that support error claims. Consumers should also open a dispute with the creditor or financial institution that is the source of the incorrect information on their credit report.

The rules and regulations regarding credit reporting and disputes can become complicated for someone not experienced with the process. Individuals with questions regarding a credit dispute may find the answers they need by speaking with an attorney.

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