Know your rights
Credit Report Disputes
What are my rights?
You do have rights when it comes to your credit report. Those rights are protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Those rights include:
- Access to information in your credit report;
- Ability to challenge inaccurate information in your credit report;
- Notice when information in your credit report is being used against you;
- Knowledge of how your credit score was determined;
- Making sure that outdated information isn't reported;
- Ability to prevent access to your credit report without your consent;
- Having inaccurate information removed from your credit report;
- Removing your name from credit reporting agency lists for unwanted solicitations;
- Right to seek damages if your rights are violated
Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
There are three major credit reporting agencies (CRA) that keep track of your consumer credit ratings. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Keep in mind that these credit reporting agencies work for banks, creditors and debt collectors. They do not work for you. When they make mistakes it causes you a lot of problems, such as denial of loans, higher interest rates, and rejection by landlords.
Some other examples of violations by credit reporting agencies include:
- Reporting information more than 7 years old;
- Not reporting a bankruptcy discharge;
- Not reporting debts that were paid off;
- Reporting debts that are not yours;
- Not conducting proper investigations when you dispute information;
- Not reporting the results of these investigations;
- Reporting old debts as new debts;
- Not properly handling your file even after you win your dispute;
- You are the victim of identity theft;
- Submitting information to a credit reporting agency that is known to be incorrect.
Can I dispute my credit report?
Yes. The FCRA gives you the right to dispute both incomplete and inaccurate information.
Can I request a copy of my credit report?
Yes. Every year you are able to receive one copy of your credit report free of charge. You are also able to request a free copy of your credit report every time a company denies you credit.
Where do I get my credit report from?
Order your credit report directly from each major credit reporting agency or complete the annual credit report form which is available at annualcreditreport.com
How Do I File A Dispute?
You can file a dispute with any of the three major credit reporting agencies by mailing them a letter, certified mail return receipt requested, notifying them of the information that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete. Make sure you include the following information in your dispute letter:
- What you are disputing;
- Why you are disputing it;
- Any information that supports your dispute;
- A specific request to remove the inaccurate or incomplete information.
What does it mean when a CRA conducts an investigation?
When you dispute any information on your credit report, the credit reporting agency must conduct an investigation within 30 days. The credit reporting agency must forward any information they have to the creditor or debt collector and give them time to respond. If you win your dispute then the information must be changed on all of your credit reports. If you lose your dispute, then you can still add a statement to the credit report as to why you believe the information is inaccurate or incomplete.
If you believe a creditor, debt collector, credit reporting agency is violating your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act you may be entitled to money.
To learn more please complete our free case review form. One of our consumer lawyers will review your claim and discuss the matter with you for free.