A credit report is an important document and it gives all the details of your credit and other financial activities. Lending companies, banks, employers, and other companies judge you on the basis of your credit report. Your credit report has vital information which reflects on your financial status and creditworthiness. Whenever you apply for a loan or a mortgage your credit report is the first thing that is scrutinized. As this report is so crucial it is important that you check it and make sure it is free of any errors. If you find any error you are empowered by FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) to file a credit report dispute, in order to correct the errors.
There are three separate bureaus who are responsible for collecting data and preparing your credit report. As per law you are entitled to get one copy of your credit report annually for free, from each of these bureaus. Once you have checked these reports, and have found certain mistakes you have to immediately send the credit report dispute, to the concerned bureau and the provider who has supplied the bureau with that information. The credit report dispute should be in writing and should be accompanied by all the documents which will prove the mistake.
In the credit report dispute you should clearly state your name and address and the information in the report which you found was erroneous. It will be much clearer if you attach a copy of your credit report, highlighting the information which you are disputing. Make copies of any cancelled checks or other statements which will support your claim and attach them with the credit report dispute. Always send only the copies and keep the originals for your own records.
After you have carefully prepared your credit report dispute with the appropriate attachments make one copy of the letter for your records and send the original only by certified mail, requesting a return receipt. This provides you with the proof of sending the dispute and of the bureau's receipt of the same.
After the receipt of your credit report dispute, the bureau has a time limit of thirty days to investigate the matter with the provider who has given the erroneous information. If your claim proves to be valid the bureau will send the corrected copy of the credit report to you. You can also instruct the bureau to send the corrected copies to all the companies that have accessed your wrong report.