Every once in a while you might see something on your credit report that you don’t recognize. For those who are actively working towards credit repair, it can be especially stressful to have this happen. While it’s alarming and possibly leaves you feeling a little violated, there are steps you can take to dispute it.
Then, of course, you may also want to dispute information on your credit report that is just plain erroneous or incorrect. Here are some examples of things you can dispute on your credit report:
- Incorrect personal information: names, addresses, dates, and more can be reported incorrectly to credit bureaus. Wrong spellings of names should also be corrected.
- Unfamiliar accounts: bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and others may also be incorrectly reported and may show up on your credit report. When this happens, you should take immediate action.
- Incorrectly reported accounts. Sometimes things can be reported as open when they have been closed, or vice versa. These types of mistakes can be disputed.
How to dispute incorrect credit items
This will depend mostly on the credit bureau, of which there are three major ones: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. They usually share information, so if you dispute with one bureau you may see changes to your report from another. You should work directly with each one if you see something on your credit report that isn’t accurate. You can also learn more about the disputing process on their individual websites.
The cost of disputing items
Filing a dispute will not change your credit score. The results of a dispute, however, can change your credit report, depending on the nature of the dispute. If you report incorrect spellings of names or addresses, this usually has no impact on your credit.
If you dispute something that changes for the better, it may stay on your credit report indefinitely. If you dispute something and it changes to a negative item, it could stay on your credit report for up to seven years. After that period of time, however, it should fall off of your report. For the most part, people tend to only report things that impact their credit negatively, so there’s a good chance that you may experience a slight increase in your credit score following a successful dispute.
If you disagree with the outcome of your dispute, you can take further action:
- Find out who reported the information and contact them. You may still be able to change the outcome.
- Add a statement of dispute. While this will not change the outcome of your original dispute, it can help you down the road when potential lenders or creditors review your credit history.
- Dispute again with relevant information. If you discover new information related to the disputed item, you have the option to dispute again with more supporting documentation.
If you need more assistance with your credit repair or credit dispute, contact Lexington Law at www.lexingtonlaw.com.