Getting mistakes eliminated from your credit report is your right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
This consumer-friendly law gives you the right to get information that is inaccurate, outdated or unverifiable removed from your credit files. But the credit bureaus will only delete such information if you dispute it first.
See also: Find your true credit score.
Here's what you need to know to effectively dispute mistakes in your credit reports with the three main credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Online Disputing Is Best
All the credit bureaus allow you to dispute mistakes via mail and over the telephone, however, it's best to dispute credit report errors online. The three credit bureaus all have online dispute resolution services that are faster and more streamlined than using snail mail or speaking to someone via phone.
Here are the websites and phone numbers you should use for the credit bureaus when you contact them to dispute errors:
Equifax or 888-800-8859
Experian or 866-200-6020
TransUnion or 800-916-8800
Properly Categorize Your Dispute
When you notify the credit bureaus that something in your credit files isn’t correct, you have to categorize the nature of your dispute.
In general, you must decide whether your dispute pertains to the “ownership” of an account or if it involves the “account information” and/or “status” of an account.