7 Steps to Check and Correct Your Credit Report

Errors on your credit report could really be hurting your credit score. Follow Money Girl's steps and don't let that happen to you!

Laura Adams, MBA
2-minute read

7 Steps to Check and Correct Your Credit Report


Did you know that 75% of consumers have errors on their credit reports? That can really crush your credit scores because they’re calculated using information in your credit files.

Fortunately, it’s easy to check and correct your free credit reports using these 7 easy steps:

Step #1: Get Your Credit Report
The law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from each of the 3 nationwide credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) every 12 months at annualcreditreport.com.

Step #2: Check Your Credit Report for Errors
Go over your credit report(s) very carefully and look for mistakes—like accounts that aren’t yours, missing accounts, incorrect account balances, and erroneous late payments.

Step #3: Report Any Errors to the Credit Agency
If you find an error, immediately dispute it on the credit agency’s website. Be specific and explain exactly why an item is inaccurate. Remember that credit agencies only report information on your credit file that they receive from your creditors.

Step #4: Contact the Creditor
Call the creditor that reported the error and let them know that you’re disputing an item. Then back it up in writing.

Step #5: Wait for a Resolution
It can take up to 45 days for a credit agency to investigate a dispute with your creditor.

Step #6: Get Your Dispute Results
You’ll receive notification about the investigation results. If the error was confirmed it will be removed from your file.

Step #7: Add a Statement of Dispute
If an error was not removed and you disagree with the decision, you can add a statement of dispute of up to 100 words to your credit report. That allows you tell your side of the story and future creditors and merchants may take your statement into consideration when evaluating you.

More Links You Might Like:
How to Get Credit With No or Bad Credit
You Pay Off a Credit Card—Now What?
9 Things That Can’t Hurt Your Credit Score
Credit Utilization—What It Means for Your Credit Score
Credit Score Survival Kit – a free multimedia download with smart strategies to raise your credit scores!

Erase Bad Credit photo from Shutterstock

About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.