by admin /
February 12, 2021 /
Credit Reporting Errors

Fixing a mistake on my credit report

There are various types of mistakes that can appear on your credit report.  They could be as detrimental as having a bankruptcy pop up that does not belong to you or something as harmless as having an address listed that you never lived at.  The general rule is that you can only fix or remove items that are inaccurate.  You only want to correct items that are causing you some type of harm, such as being denied a bank loan.  If a credit report misspells your name it is fine if you leave it alone.   Although you can dispute any thing on your credit report the law is you need a to show the account is inaccurate.
The first and mot harmful type of mistake that can appear on your report is called a mixed file.  It is a simple as it sounds.  The credit bureaus mixed your file up with another person.  It is someone who has a similar name and social security number as you.  Usually it appears within family members who have similar names but it could be that someone who has similar personal identifiers as you and lives across the country.  In order to dispute these mistakes you need to first order a copy of your credit report.  You can get a free credit report from  If you have difficulty pulling your own report you could apply for credit in the form of an auto loan, mortgage or from any lender that will pull you credit and will give you a copy of it.  Once you have the credit report you need to identify the accounts that do not belong to you.  Write a detailed letter to the three credit bureaus (Trans Union, Experian and Equifax) explaining the error and include a copy of your driver’s license, birth certificate and/or social security card.  The bureaus will respond within 30 days.  Save copies of all the letters sent and received.  If the bureaus did not fix the error then you have a claim against them for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  More often then not the dispute letters do not work so a consumer needs to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit against the credit bureaus to get the items fixed. The second and relatively common type of mistake is related to identity theft.  Again, this usually relates to someone who is a family member or friend and steals your personal identifiers.  Identity theft is usually spotted where a bunch of hard inquiries begin to pop up on your report.  Hard inquiries are where someone applies for financing like an auto loan or credit card.  The consumer could also start to receive delinquent credit notices for an account they do not recognize.  If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft then pull a copy of your credit report and look for any items that do not belong to you.  It is also imperative to file a police report (if the police will generate one for you) as well as to fill out a fraud affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission.  Both are free.  Once you have the affidavit, police report and the accounts identified that do not belong to you, you should again write a detailed letter to the credit bureaus.  Attach the police report and fraud affidavit in your dispute and be sure to copy in the banks or accounts who are listed fraudulently.  The bureaus will respond within 30 days.  If they do not fix then you will need to hire an attorney for the companies violating the law. The last and most common type of dispute are called status disputes.  This could be for late payments that were not late, an account that was paid and not owed or for a balance where the consumer does not owe as much as claimed.  The most important thing to do with status disputes is to gather proof that the account is inaccurate.  It could be a cashed check, a letter from the furnisher, proof of payment via a credit card or as creative as you can think of.  Once you have the credit reporting error identified then you need to write a detailed dispute to the credit bureaus and the company who is reporting it and attach the proof.  The bureaus will respond within 30 days and again if they do not fix you need to hire an attorney to resolve. The reason is the attorney may be able to get the items removed and you could be entitled up to $1,000 in damages as well as any other money you may have lost or had to pay. If something is reporting as accurate, whether it be a bankruptcy or a bunch of credit card charge-offs this can not be removed.  Do not believe any company telling you that they can get them removed, as they are attempting to scam you or do not know the law.  Disputing inaccurate credit items is something any one can do, just make sure to save records of all the documents.