You should be regularly checking your credit report in order to make sure that everything is correct. There are all sorts of errors, human and computer, that result in errors on your credit report. You can go to the joint Web site set up by the three major credit bureaus in order to view your credit report (you are entitled to a free credit report from each credit bureau each year–click here to see how to get three free credit report). And if you find something wrong, you have the right to dispute the problem for free. After all, a lower than deserved credit score can wreak havoc on your finances and financial goals.
Disputing information on your credit report
When you decide to engage in a credit report dispute, you need to gather any evidence that you have been wronged and make copies. Then you need to notify the credit bureau in question in writing. If it is an error on the part of the credit bureau, it must be fixed ASAP. If it is a mistake on the part of the creditor, the credit bureau will notify the creditor of the dispute and an investigation into the matter will be opened. If the information on your credit report is found to be incorrect, the credit bureau has to have the problem fixed within 30 calendar days of notifying the creditor. Keep in mind that you have to fix credit report problems individually with each credit bureau.
Services that charge fees for a credit report dispute
There are services out there, many of them legit, that offer to dispute credit report errors on your behalf. However, these services can cost anywhere between $7.95 and $24.95–or more. Additionally, if you are paying for a monthly credit monitoring service, this is added to your monthly fee. The fact of the matter is that you do not need someone else to facilitate a credit report dispute. A little time and effort on your part (looking at your credit report, making copies and writing the credit bureau) can save you bucks and keep you involved in maintaining your own credit.