A 2004 study by the U.S. PIRG -- federation
of state Public Interest Research Groups -- found that one in four adults have
serious errors on their credit reports. Not small errors either. The Fair Credit
Reporting Act requires credit-reporting agencies to fix these mistakes, but it
will take some work on your part. Use this work sheet to assist you.
a free copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting agencies in
one of three ways:
the form on the back of the "Annual Credit Report Request" brochure, available from the FTC, and mail it to: Annual
Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
it's been more than 90 days since you requested your free report, you may have
to buy one from each agency: Experian TransUnion Equifax
the credit reporting agency about the error.
can initiate an investigation online on the Web sites for all three credit reporting
you use the online dispute feature
on the credit-reporting agency
Web site, follow that by sending
a letter certified mail with return
in the letter:
Your name and address.
A list of the incorrect information,
explain why and request that it
Copies of your credit report with
the erroneous item highlighted
agency has a phone number listed for disputes; if you call, keep copious, detailed
notes and follow the phone call with a letter.
the creditor about the mistake.
a letter to the creditor notifying
it that you dispute the information
that the creditor has reported.
what information is incorrect
and ask the company to stop reporting
copies of information that supports your case.