Errors on My Credit Report
A few months ago, I was checking out my credit scores to get an idea of where I stand. I had heard that there can be errors on it that can hurt your score and in in turn give you hugher interest rates for auto and home loans.
- My name was listed as my maiden name
- I had a couple of addresses that I never lived in
- I had a medical bill that was listed in collection, but was paid by my insurance years ago.
The first two were annoying, but the last mistake was dropping my credit score. Your bill payments make up an estimated 35% of your score.
How to Order Your Free Credit Reports
The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up one website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.
To order, visit annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228
Source: Federal Trade Commission
Free Credit Report.com isn’t free
FreeCreditReport.com isn’t a completely free service. You pay $14.95/month to monitor one of your three scores, Experian. I had it and it didn’t really help.
When you order your free report here, you will begin your free trial membership in Triple AdvantageSM Credit Monitoring. If you don’t cancel your membership within the 7-day trial period**, you will be billed $14.95 plus applicable sales tax for each month that you continue your membership.
How to Dispute an Error
Call to verify what you need to send for your specific case. Too little and you have to repeat the process and too much information just makes me a bit nervous.
Credit Agency Contact Numbers
- Equifax: (800) 685-1111
- Experian: (888) 397-3742
- TransUnion: (800) 888-4213
My Customer Service Rating
- Equifax: It was easy to get a person available and got the information that I needed.
- Experian: I can say that they are the hardest to reach. I was trying to get their fax number and their automated system does NOT give you the option of talking with a live person. I went online to hunt for the answer. Once I got someone, it went smoothly.
- TransUnion: Even after digging online I couldn’t get a live person. I just find that annoying. I have to request my report by mail, as they can’t seem to verify me!
Mail over a letter to the agency stating what you are disputing and the paperwork you are including.
Some items you may need to include (depending on your error):
- Copy of Driver’s License or State Identification
- Copy of Social Security Card
- Paperwork for the credit error (I had a copy of the insurance paperwork sent to me)
Send the letter through certified mail and send copies. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS!
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-0949
If you send by certified mail, try:
701 Experian Pkwy
Allen, TX 75013
For some items, you can actually dispute them online. Equifax can do that with certain errors, such as a credit account or collection.
You should receive a letter in 6 weeks regarding the status of the dispute. EquixFax was able to handle my errors quickly. I’m still working on the other two agencies.
Have you’ve been through this? How have you fixed your credit report? If you know someone who needs to clean up their report, please share this post with them.
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