Rebuilding Credit FAQ

What should I do if I find mistakes in my credit report?

Make a list of everything that's incorrect or out of date in your credit report. Examples of incorrect information include:

  • incorrect or incomplete name, address, phone number, birthdate, Social Security number, or employment information
  • bankruptcies not identified by their specific chapter number
  • accounts that are not yours or lawsuits in which you were not involved
  • incorrect account histories, such as a history of late payments when you paid on time
  • any closed accounts that are listed as open -- it may look as if you have too much open credit, and
  • any account you closed that doesn't say "closed by consumer."

Then, complete the disputed items form provided by the credit bureau. List each incorrect or out-of-date item and explain exactly what is wrong. Once the credit bureau receives your request, it must investigate the items you dispute and contact you within 30 days.

If you are right that the information is inaccurate or incomplete, or if the creditor who provided the information can no longer verify it, the credit bureau must remove the information from your report or modify it based on the results of the investigation. For more information on fixing your credit report, see Nolo's article How to Clean Up Your Credit Report.

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