According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the three nationwide reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required to give you one free copy of your credit report every year. Your credit report will contain information about where you live, your payment history, bankruptcy filings, and judgements against you.
To obtain a copy of your credit report, you will have to provide your name, address, social security number and date of birth. If you have moved in the last 2 years, you may also have to provide your previous address. The reporting agency may also ask you for confidential information that only you would know in order to keep your file secure. You should receive a copy of your report within 15 days of receipt.
If you find errors in the report, you should tell the specific agency, in writing, what information is inaccurate. The agency must then investigate the inaccuracy within 30 days. If the information is found to be inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide consumer reporting companies so that the information can be corrected. The agency must give you the written results and a free copy of the report if the dispute results in a change.
Be wary of any company that claims they can remove “accurate” negative information from your credit report for a fee. While it is possible to dispute an item, if it is determined to be accurate the only way it will drop off your report is time. In addition, you do not need to pay anyone to dispute items on your credit report for you. You can do that in writing, yourself for free.
If you are being harassed by a debt collector about a disputed item on your credit report, please call my office, The Law Office of Todd M. Friedman at (877) 449-8898.