A credit report is a collection of all information pertaining to your credit usage as reported to it by the various lenders that you do business with. It also lists certain information that is to be found in public records such as tax liens, filing for bankruptcy and federal court judgments. It is quite possible that during the course of recording and reporting data mistakes have been made. It is quite possible that the lender does not update a particular account or reports incorrect information by mistake. Whatever reason, it is a good idea to clean your credit history from all incorrect and outdated information that has the potential of hurting your credit score. This is done through a process called filing a dispute with the credit bureau. Each national credit bureau Experian, Equifax and TransUnion allow you to file a dispute with them online through their websites as well as through postal mail.
Filing a dispute is perhaps easiest done online. Whenever you order a copy of your free annual credit report or by one directly from the credit bureaus you are provided with instructions as to how to dispute information. This is usually a link which you can click and fill in the information necessary for the dispute. Is a good idea however to also send a copy of your personal credit report with the errors or the information that you want to dispute circled out along with any other documents that you need to send to substantiate your claim.
Investigation Done by the Credit Bureau
The credit bureau is mandated by the federal law to investigate all claims within 30 days of receiving the claim. The credit bureau may get 15 additional days if you send in any additional information pertaining to the dispute. The manner in which the credit bureau investigates the claim is that it contacts the lender who is responsible for the information and asks him to verify it. The credit bureau is required to notify the business that has provided information of the dispute within five business days of receiving it.
Investigation Done by the Lender
The next that has to be followed through another lender or the information provider. Whenever some information is disputed lender is required to provide adequate proof to verify that the information with the credit bureau is correct. If the creditor fails to respond or cannot verify the information on the credit report, the information is removed. If the lender provides verification for updated information then similarly the information on the credit report is updated.
Result of the Credit Report Dispute
Whatever the result of the credit report dispute is, you will be informed when the investigation is over. If the information is deleted because it was inaccurate or could not be verified the credit bureau will also notify the furnisher of the removal. With your permission the credit bureau can also notify any employer who has requested your credit report within the last two years or any other business who has requested your credit report within the last six months. The credit bureau can also terminate the dispute process if it finds it frivolous. Your to be notified within the first five business days if this happens and also what you must do to restart the dispute investigation.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the credit dispute investigation you have the right to include 100 word statements on your credit report. Although the result of the dispute might not have been in your favor this statement will apprise future creditors of the fact that you do not agree with certain entries on your credit report. This will also give you the chance to prove your claim to any future lenders who is reviewing your application by providing adequate documentation. If you believe that the credit bureau has wallet and your right and the law while processing your dispute you can send a complaint to the federal Trade Commission.