Companies can use your credit report to determine if you should get a loan or credit card, and some businesses may use it for hiring purposes. You must correct any errors on your credit report as soon as possible.
Check your credit report regularly
Because your credit report affects so many aspects of your life, check it regularly for any errors. The Free Credit Report Act requires that each of the three credit agencies — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — give you a copy of your credit report for free once every 12 months. You can also get a credit report if:
- You face unemployment and need to look for a job in the next 60 days
- You received notice that a company took adverse action against you
- Someone has stolen your credit
How to dispute errors on your credit report
To dispute an error you must inform the credit agency of the exact nature of the errors in writing. You should write and list each item that you are disputing and why. Provide any information that could be relevant. The credit agency then has 30 days to investigate.
Next, tell the information provider, such as the bank or credit card company, that you are disputing these items on the credit report. If they find that the information is inaccurate, the information provider will tell the credit reporting agency to delete the incorrect items.
Learn your consumer rights
As a consumer, you have rights. It’s important to know your rights to prevent them from being violated as this can affect many aspects of your life. Taking charge of your credit by reviewing your credit history and disputing errors is one way to learn more about your consumer rights.