Refresh your driving skills and learn about new car technology with the AARP Driver Safety page.
by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, June 18, 2010
Q. There’s an error on my credit report. How do I fix it?
A. Don’t rely on the online dispute forms offered by the three major credit reporting bureaus. Their check-box choices will pigeonhole your dispute into general categories, weakening your chances to prove negligence, says the National Consumer Law Center.
Instead, the center recommends that you send a written request for an investigation to all three major credit bureaus, with “return receipt” notification. Your letters should explain your dispute in detail and note all actions you’ve taken to resolve it—such as the time and dates of telephone calls made, and with whom you spoke. Include whatever evidence you can find to discredit the company that’s reporting the damaging information about you, such as complaints of past inaccuracies.
Make specific recommendations on actions the credit bureaus should take to investigate the matter—such as interview customer rep John Jones, with whom you tried to settle the matter.
You should also send a return-receipt letter to the bank or company that claimed you were financially remiss. Dispute in detail its information about you.
Then—follow up. Telephone or write again if you don’t hear back. The bureaus are required to give you the results of the investigation in writing and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change.
For more details, see page 35 of a report by the National Consumer Law Center.
A Federal Trade Commission web page has more tips and a sample dispute letter.
Dispute letters should be mailed to:
P.O. Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013
* Equifax Information Services
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
* TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer issues.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Get tips and resources to protect yourself from fraud and see the latest scam alerts in your state.
Members save 15% on in-store purchases of frozen yogurt, treats and apparel.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at