A Consumer Reports study found that many consumer credit reports contain inaccuracies. This can lead to problems with loans and higher interest rates. If you find a problem with yours, what should you do?
First, file a dispute with each credit bureau Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Go straight to the credit bureau, not to your creditor. The Fair Credit Reporting Act give you protections as to how quickly the dispute must be handled and a legal pathway to sue if needed. Attach any proof such as relevant account statements or payment records.
Create a paper trail. Consumer Reports suggests not to file the dispute online, because that doesn’t provide a written record that you can rely on later if needed. Also by submitting your dispute online, you could unwittingly waive your right to sue as an individual or in a class action. Instead, write a letter explaining the problem.
Send all materials by certified mail. This includes a paper copy of the letter and copies of any financial materials needed to make your case. Keep copies for yourself. This makes it easier to confirm that the credit bureaus follow the required timelines. Credit bureaus have five days to get the disputed information to the financial institution or debt collector that supplied the information. If that company doesn’t investigate and respond to the dispute in time, the credit bureaus are legally required to delete the information.
If that doesn’t work, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Board. The CFPB will investigate your situation and says most companies respond within 15 days.
If you lose your dispute or the problem is severe, consider working with an experienced attorney. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right to sue a credit bureau or financial institution over credit report errors. If a company is found in violation, your legal fees might be automatically covered. If you would like more information contact us today.