You have a right to dispute incorrect information on your credit report. If, after disputing information, the credit reporting agency corrects your report, you should take some additional steps. Here’s what to do.
(To learn when you should dispute information on your report and how to dispute information, see our Cleaning Up Your Credit Report topic area.)
The Credit Reporting Agency’s Duties When it Corrects Your Report
If the credit reporting agency cannot verify that the disputed information is correct (or agrees that it is incorrect), the credit reporting agency must:
- either remove or correcting the information, and
- notify the creditor that furnished the information that it has been deleted or modified. This lets the creditor know that it must correct the information in its records as well.
What You Should Do If the CRA Corrects Your Report
If the credit reporting agency removes information or corrects information on your report, you should take these additional steps:
Ask the Credit Reporting Agency to Notify Creditors
Consider asking the credit reporting agency to notify creditors who made recent inquiries that it deleted inaccurate or unverifiable information from your report. The agency is only required to do so if you make the request and identify those who requested your report. And, even then, it is only required to send notice to anyone who requested your report within the previous six months, or two years if requested for employment purposes.
You won’t have to pay anything for this notification as long as you request it within 30 days after the credit reporting agency reveals the results of its reinvestigation.
Check Your Report at the Other Credit Reporting Agencies
Check to see whether your credit reports at the other major agencies contain the same error. If so, send the results of your successful investigation from the first agency to the others so they will correct your credit file as well. (Learn how to get your credit reports in our Credit Reports & Credit Scores topic area.)
Request Your Report Again After a Few Months
Obtain another copy of your credit report a few months later to confirm that the corrections still appear. Even though credit reporting agencies are required to have procedures to keep incorrect information from reappearing, unfortunately, those procedures often fail. Sometimes this happens because a creditor uses a form, called a “Universal Data Form,” to send the correction to the credit reporting agency. But if the creditor does not correct its own automated records, the error is still there and may be transmitted electronically the next time it sends data to the credit reporting agency.
This is an excerpt from Credit Repair, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard (Nolo).