You’ve received your credit report and find there is indeed an error. You’ve heard it takes an act of Congress to get credit report errors corrected and we all know how long that takes. Actually it can be done if you know how.
Your first step is write down every thing on your report that is incorrect. On the back of credit report you will find a set of instructions – read these very carefully. Contact the credit bureau and locate the right person to talk to.
The only way you will get your report corrected is to make a written appeal. As a matter of fact, the Consumer protection laws require you to notify credit bureaus in writing of any inaccuracies they report. To do this, you must request that the credit agency send you a “dispute” form. Make sure you get the name of the person you are speaking to, their supervisor, and the exact name of the department. After your have completed the form, return it to the Credit Rating agency by certified mail with a return receipt requested. This way you will know when it has been received by the agency.
At this point the credit bureau will try to verify the dispute you have described with the bank, lender, or creditor responsible for having the damaging information listed. You will be notified of their decision in 30-45 days.
The dispute will probably be resolved in your favor because most creditors don’t keep old information and don’t want to take the time away from other profitable activities to verify the report.
It is also recommended by those with experience that you contact the creditor at the same time. Again, you will need to send a certified letter with a return receipt requested. When you know the letter has been received contact the creditor by phone. Ask if they will make the correction. If they will, ask them to send you a written confirmation. Specifically, ask for a copy of the UDF, or universal data form. The UDF is a document that your creditor transmits to the credit agency to update your report. If they will not give you a copy of the UDF ask for a letter confirming that the creditor has notified the credit agency of the error.
Experts further recommend that if a credit card company has inaccurately reported that you were late making a payment, you request that creditor mail a copy of the UDF to all your other creditors. The reason being some credit card companies will raise your interest if the find out you were late paying a bill.