Mistakes to your credit report can happen, but what do you do when your credit report is wrong? A creditor may report a late payment incorrectly, or you could be the victim of mistaken identity. If your credit report has errors, you may need to have those mistakes corrected before you can qualify for a mortgage. Don’t panic, the credit bureau and your creditor have to correct any incorrect or incomplete information in your report for free.
First, contact the bureaus and your creditor to have any mistakes corrected. You'll need to contact each credit bureau that has the error. The credit bureaus accept disputes online, by mail, and by phone. Follow the links below to handle disputes online. Links to sample letters and addresses to settle disputes via mail can be found at the bottom of this article.
- Equifax dispute site (866) 349-5191
- Experian dispute site (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion dispute site (800) 916-8800
Second, explain the exact mistakes and provide copies of documents that support your dispute.
- The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate disputes and you may have to provide evidence if you haven't already. They will send everything to your creditor. Once your creditor determines they reported inaccurately, they will need to notify all three credit bureaus to fix the information on your credit report.
- If the dispute is not resolved, you can request a statement of the dispute be included in future reports. You may also want to consult a professional credit repair service.
You can find sample letters and addresses to dispute by mail at the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Advice Page.
Third, if you don’t have the time or desire to fix things on your own you still have options.
- You can use one of the many credit monitoring services that have integrated tools like credit karma.
- You can partner with a trusted veteran in the credit repair space that know exactly what you need to do and can guide you through the process for a nominal fee.
The choice is yours how you get there, but there is very little chance the industry is going away from minimum credit scores. So if you want to own your piece of the American Dream, you must act now to get your credit on the mend.