More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

Found an Error in Your Credit Report?

When you get your credit report, check for mistakes.  Common mistakes include information about someone with a similar name, information for an ex-spouse’s account that your name was never on, or a closed account shown open. 

  1. If there are errors, write the credit bureau that issued the report. State the error and ask for an investigation.  The credit bureau legally has 30 days to investigate and correct the information.  If there is an error, all three credit bureaus will be notified. Your credit report then should be corrected. 

  2. Once the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must give you the written results.  It provides you with a free, revised copy of your report, if the error results in a change.  (This free report does not count as your annual free report under the FACT Act.)

  3. If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your credit file and in future reports.  You can ask the credit bureau to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past.  You may have to pay a fee for this service.

  4. Negative information can’t be removed if it’s correct!

  5. Be persistent and patient!  Disputing an error and resolving credit problems takes time and a lot of effort.