Because your credit report in so many of your personal business dealings, it is crucial that you do all you can to protect it. One of the most recommended strategies for protecting your credit score is to pull a copy of your credit report at least once a year. You can do this for free with any of the three major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. One of the easiest ways to improve your score is by correcting any errors listed on your report. This may seem like a daunting task, but we have provided a sample letter that you can personalize in order to dispute errors with the credit bureaus.
Whenever you send a dispute letter, try to collect and attach any documents that will provide proof of your argument. This might include copies of bank statements, cancelled checks proving you paid on time, etc. You should also include your date of birth, social security number, and perhaps even a copy of your driver license in order to help the credit bureau establish your identity. And always remember to make a copy of your letter and keep it on file in your own records. It would also be a smart idea to send the letter by registered mail in order to have confirmation that the credit bureau received it.
The following sample letter includes just a few of the most common corrections made to credit reports. You can personalize it, delete the sections that do not apply to your situation, and add in paragraphs that are relevant.
123 Bell Street
Anycity, ST 12345
Date of Birth: xx-xx-xxxx
April 18, 2007
Dear Sir or Madam,
After reviewing my credit report recently, I found the following errors. Please take the necessary steps to correct the misinformation.
1. False Late Payment Statements.
Your report of my credit states that my American Express credit account (#xxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx) is 30 days past due. I have not been late in making my payments and I have enclosed a copy of my cancelled check showing that the bill was paid on time. Please update your records accordingly.
2. Accounts Listed That Have Been Closed for More Than Seven Years.
There are several credit accounts listed on my credit report which have been closed for more than seven years, the allowable time for accounts to be listed as stated by the FCRA. I am enclosing the appropriate documents showing the dates when these account were closed.
Please remove the following accounts from your records:
Bloomingdale’s Account # xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxx
Gold Member Diner’s Club Account # xxx-xxxxx-xxx-xxxx
3. Unauthorized Credit Inquiries Listed.
My credit report lists an inquiry from Bob’s Auto Mart. I have never visited this business establishment and have never given my authorization to this company to check my credit history. Please reinvestigate this matter and remove this inquiry from my report.
Thank you for your attention to these matters. Please notify me when the changes have been made or if you require further proof of these errors.
You may also want to include your sob story, or how these credit errors have negatively impacted your life. Making your case more personal may help it stand out among the tens of thousands of dispute letters the credit bureaus receive each day.