Credit errors force you to spend time, energy and effort on mistakes you didn’t make. Many people don’t apply or delaying applying for credit until the problem is fixed. This can result in a higher interest rate, a lost purchase, not applying for credit, frustration and a sense of helplessness.
A mixed file is when your credit file is merged with someone else’s. That other person may have a similar name, address or social security number. If your file has been merged with someone with bad credit then you will likely be turned down for credit. Or, you may get constant phone calls from collectors looking for someone else and though you’ve told them they have the wrong person they keep calling.
Some credit reports contain outdated information or clerical errors that can impact your credit score. Check your credit report for these errors.
An account is opened using your name, your social security number, driver’s license or any other personal identifying information without your permission. If this fraud has occurred you have a right to remove all fraudulent accounts from your credit report.
A bankruptcy, lien, judgment, eviction or criminal history appears on your credit reports and the information is inaccurate.
An employment report contains information about a person’s criminal record, work history and public records. Many of these reports are filled with errors and can result in a person losing a job. If a potential employer has completed a background check and you are not hired then request a copy of the report or the name of the company used to obtain your report.
If you have obtained a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 discharge then any pre-petition debt should be reported on your credit report with a zero balance and the notation “discharged in bankruptcy.” Unfortunately, this is not always the case and some debts are never properly reported.
Free Case Review and No Obligation to Hire Us
Our office will review what happened, review your credit reports and consult with you to find out the nature of the errors. From there our office will likely help you prepare a dispute letter to be sent to the credit reporting agencies and/or the creditor or debt collector reporting the erroneous information. We want to make sure we get it right the first time so we expect to speak with you personally either in person, telephone, video chat and/or e-mail. That process may take 15 minutes or 2 hours. If the errors are cleared up then you owe us nothing. Though, if you are satisfied with our services we hope you’d consider providing a review.
In the event the errors aren’t cleared up then we will explore the next steps, which may include further investigation or filing a lawsuit.
How to Dispute Information on Your Credit Report
You have a copy of your credit report and you have found errors, you should contact our office for a free case review. Remember there is no obligation to hire us. If you choose to go it alone use the form that came with your credit report to dispute errors. Use our sample dispute letter.
Things to Remember
Keep a copy of each letter and document you send. It must be a photocopy of the original. Go to Kinko’s or a copy store if you have to, but make and keep a copy. Send everything certified mail, return receipt requested. Attach any supporting documents to your dispute and list what you are enclosing.
Credit Bureau Addresses
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
701 Experian Parkway
Allen, TX 75013
What If Nothing Changes?
If you dispute the information and nothing has changed then contact us immediately for a free consultation.
The law allows you to obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year, or if you have been turned down for credit in the last 60 days, or you suspect you are or will be a victim of identity theft or fraud, or you are unemployed and plan on looking for work in 60 days, or you are on welfare. You can do it by phone or in writing. Never request a free credit report online.
- By Phone Annual Credit Report at 877-322-8228
- Free Annual Credit Report Form
- Turned Down for Credit Form
- Victim of Identity Theft or Fraud Form
For a Fee
If you are unable to request a free credit report then California law allows you to buy a copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agencies for $8 each. To buy from Experian, Equifax or Transunion, we have created a sample letter.
Specialty Credit Reports
Specialty consumer reporting agencies collect and share information about your history of using insurance, using a checking account, renting a home or a using a utility. If you have been turned down or have had a difficult time in obtaining any of these services or products then you must obtain a copy of your report. Each company will provide one free report every 12 months. Whether you have a copy of your report or not you can contact us immediately for a free consultation.
Check-Writing or Overdraft History: If a bank turns you down for a checking account based on a credit report you are entitled to a notice from the bank that identifies the name and address of the credit report agency from which the bank got the report. Or, a bank may require you to pay a deposit to open the account. There are three companies most bank’s use. Certegy Check Services 866-543-6315, ChexSystems 800-428-9623, Early Warning Services 800-325-7775, TeleCheck 800-366-2425.
Rental History: Rental payment and collection information, including evictions is collected by credit reporting companies. If you have been turned down for a rental you must check your report. The following companies compile and sell that information. Corelogic SafeRent 888-333-2413, Contemporary Information Corp. 800-288-4757, First Advantage Resident History 800-845-6004, Leasing Desk (Real Page) 866-934-1124, Tenant Data Services 800-228-1837.
Utility History: Have you had to jump through hoops to establish utility service or been turned down? Order your report for National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange 866-343-2821.
Employment History: Have you been turned down for employment based on a background check or suspect or have been told unfavorable information appears on a report? Find out the source of that information and obtain a copy. Accurate Background 800-784-3911, American DataBank 800-200-0853, EmployeeScreen IQ 800-235-3954, First Advantage 800-845-6004, GIS 800-845-6004, GIS 800-265-4917, HireRight 800-381-0645, Infocubic 877-360-4636, Intellicorp 866-202-1436, Pre-employ.com 800-300-1821, Professional Screening & Information, Inc., 877-235-7574, Sterling Infosystems, Inc., 877-424-2457, Trak-1 Technology 918-779-7000, Verifications Inc., 877-884-1313, The Work Number 866-604-6570.
Payday Lenders, Subprime Lenders, Rent-to-Own & Check Cashing Services: Have you been turned down for a payday loan, a car loan, by a credit union or by a rent-to-own company? Clarity Services 866-390-3118, DataX 866-295-4790, FactorTrust 866-910-8497, MircoBilt 800-884-4747, Teletrack 877-309-5226.
Public Record: Provides information on property records, bankruptcies, liens, judgments, criminal history and child support obligations. LexisNexis Full File Disclosure Report 888-497-0011, CreditIQ Credit Report by CoreLogic Credco 800-637-2422 (credit report inquiries) or 877-532-8778 (CoreLogic Consumer File Inquiries), IDA, Inc., 866-361-7984, Innovis 800-540-2505, L2C 866-268-7156, Pay Rent Build Credit/MicroBilt 800-884-4747.
Insurance Claims and Records: LexisNexis Full File Disclosure Report 888-497-0011, 866-312-8076, Insurance Information Exchange 866-560-7015, Insurance Services Office 800-709-8842.
Medical History: If you have released information about yourself to an insurance company for life or health insurance then you likely have a report. MIB, Inc., 866-692-6901, Milliman IntelliScript, 877-211-4816.
More information about Specialty Consumer Reporting Agencies can be found at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website http://www.consumerfinance.gov. Search “specialty consumer report.”
Do None of This Online
If you speak with most experienced fair credit reporting attorneys they will tell you that they prefer disputes be done in writing and your credit report be obtained via written request. Why?
First, you will have a paper trail that you can prove. You won’t have to rely on a 3rd party to show what you wrote, sent and what you requested. Your potential attorney can see all documents before any lawsuit is filed and won’t have to worry what you submitted online is different than what your records show or worse, that it’s been lost in cyberspace.
Second, the credit reporting agency may insert an arbitration clause in their website saying you can’t sue them in court and any dispute must be in private arbitration. Never give up your constitutional right to a jury trial and to seek justice in court.
To learn more about how companies are taking away this right and why arbitration is wrong visit Public Justice and use the search term “arbitration.”