When you pay your bills on time and maintain good credit, the last thing you expect is to be denied when you apply for a loan or apartment rental.
But credit reporting errors are actually incredibly common. In fact, in 2022 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported a 61% increase in consumer complaints about credit reporting issues from the year prior.
Having your credit application denied can have serious ramifications on your financial situation, your housing, and more. What can you do if the reason you were denied was due to an error on your credit report? Here’s what to know about your legal options.
Common Credit Reporting Errors
It’s important to check your credit report often to make sure everything appears as it should. You should have a good idea of what your score is and what collections accounts are on your report at any given time so you can quickly spot something that’s suspicious or out of place.
Common credit reporting errors include:
- A collections account for someone with a similar name that was mistakenly assigned to you
- Incorrect name, address, or other identifying information
- Accounts you closed that are still showing as open
- Inaccurate delinquency amounts or dates of delinquency
- The same debt listed multiple times
- Inaccurate credit limits or account balances
Remember to send copies of important documents to credit bureaus with your claims and keep the originals in a safe place that you can physically access if you need to.
How To Dispute An Error On Your Credit Report
If you find an error on your credit report, the first step is to dispute it with the reporting agency. If the error appears on reports from more than one agency, you will need to dispute it separately with each bureau.
You can dispute the error online, or you can mail a letter to the bureau and the creditor that alleges you owe the debt. While these online forms do give you some space to explain why you believe there’s an error, writing a letter allows you to be more thorough and include detailed information.
You can also send supporting documents that might be difficult to submit online, like copies of paper records that would otherwise have to be scanned and emailed. Make sure you clearly label each error and explain what the problem is. Be as specific as possible and include account numbers, dates, amounts, and any other details that you have.
Here’s where to file your dispute:
File online or download the dispute form at: dispute.transunion.com
Send your letter with the completed dispute form to:
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Or call (800) 916-8800
File online at: experian.com/disputes/main.html
Send your letter to:
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Or call (888) 397-3742
Download the dispute form or file online at: equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-dispute/
Mail your letter and the completed dispute form to:
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30348
Or call (866) 349-5191
Do I Need A Lawyer To Fix My Credit Report?
Technically, you can dispute errors on your credit report and correct any wrong information on your own without any legal help. But this isn’t necessarily in your best interests. Consumer law is complex and creditors can be ruthless.
Communicating with credit bureaus like Equifax or TransUnion can feel intimidating and agents are less likely to take you as seriously as they would an attorney or financial professional. When you work with a lawyer to make changes to your credit report, people are more likely to return your attorney’s calls and negotiate favorably with them than if you were to represent yourself.
If you’ve tried to dispute errors on your credit report unsuccessfully, a lawyer may still be able to help you resolve them. Credit bureaus tend to remove negative items from your report or offer good settlement deals more often when you have legal representation than when you try to resolve errors on your own.
Get Qualified Legal Help From Experienced Consumer Protection Attorneys Mazow | McCullough, PC
If you were denied credit due to erroneous information on your credit report, the veteran Salem, MA consumer protection lawyers at Mazow | McCullough, PC can help. Contact us today to learn more about your rights as a consumer and what creditors can’t do, or fill out our short form and our team will get right back to you.
Call now to book your free initial consultation by dialing (978) 744-8000 or toll-free at (855) 693-9084. Our legal professionals are standing by to answer your important questions and guide you in the right direction.