Disputing Inaccurate Information

You also have a right to know when a creditor, debt collector or other reporter sends negative information about you to a consumer reporting agency. Under FCRA rules, creditors must inform you before they report Credit Report negative information to a reporting agency. But that notice doesn’t have to be separate. It’s enough for them to include a statement on a bill or other communication stating that the company may report information about your account to consumer reporting agencies. They must also notify you within 30 days if they report negative information about you to a consumer reporting agency.

Disputing Inaccurate Information

Consumer research says that 70 to 80 percent of all credit reports contain inaccurate information, and that 25 to 30 percent of reports contain inaccurate information that can make it difficult to get credit or a good interest rate. That inaccurate information may include such things as old credit lines that you no longer use, outdated information that should have been removed from your credit report because of age and inaccurate information reported by debt collectors. Any of that information can have a serious impact on your credit. That’s why it’s important to check your credit report regularly and to dispute any inaccurate information that you find.

If you find inaccurate information on your credit report, you should notify the consumer reporting agency that you dispute the information. The credit bureau must investigate your dispute and require the entity that reported the information to prove the accuracy of their report. If the creditor finds that you’re correct, they must notify all three credit bureaus of the error and make a correction. If they refuse to do so, you can request that the credit bureau include a letter of dispute from you with your credit report and send a copy of your letter to anyone that requests your credit report.

In addition, there are special provisions for those who have been victims of identity theft or fraud, and rules about who must get your permission before accessing your credit report.

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