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3 steps in disputing items in your credit report

By Karen Anderson
Published: Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Did you know that credit cards are used is thousands of transactions every day? Research shows that that these transactions amount to millions of dollars daily. Now, imagine all those transactions are then recorded and tracked by credit bureaus.  Recording those receipts, transaction numbers and approval numbers can be a daunting task and with that line of work, its more likely that a tired employee of a credit bureau may have punched in some numbers that may not quite add up to your personal estimates.

There are millions of cases of credit report errors each year and people are starting to lose more of their hard earned money due to mistakes. While most credit reporting agencies have already instituted automated systems to monitor your expenses and payments, the truth is that there is still a huge possibility that an entry in your credit history is incorrect. Unfortunately, it is not the credit bureau’s task to ensure that all entries are correct – it is up to you to monitor the accuracy of your credit history. After all, inaccuracy can spell disaster for you personally. You know that a bad credit report means a low credit score. This essentially leads to lesser opportunities for you. You can’t take out a loan with a low credit rating, and some companies also look at your credit score before they hire you.  Aside from these, you can lose thousands of dollars paying for interests and penalties incurred by those errors. That’s why you should know how to get rid of those errors fast before they eat up all your savings.

  1. Start off with a letter to the credit bureaus indicating that you want to dispute the errors that you’ve found in your credit report.  It is important to put in details so that the bureau will know exactly which entry you are trying to get fixed.  If your credit history shows transactions you did not authorize, then this could mean that someone else is using your name. On the other hand, if you are disputing an incorrect amount of transaction, make sure you back up your claim with a receipt. Remember, your aim is to inform all those who have received your records with errors in them, so make sure you send the dispute letter to all concerned companies to make sure that they don’t miss the memo. Focus on reaching the credit reporting agencies that are directly involved with you, they will have the listings of the companies and other agencies that got a hold of your erroneous credit report.
  2. Check the progress of your dispute letter by writing the credit agency that has forwarded your letter to other institutions. The financial institutions should receive your letter and must be working on it to clear up any false marks on your report.
  3. Credit bureaus have to reply to your claim within 30 days. Typically, they will send you the results of your claim, and in case it is approved, then you can forward it to concerned institutions.  Just in case your request is rejected, don’t worry, there are still chances for you to clear up your name. Just be consistent and always remember to accompany your dispute letter with the proof to your claim such as receipts and other documentation.

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