Once you become an adult, your credit report is one of the most important documents that you will need. Especially if you plan on applying for any credit cards, loans, or mortgages. All of which, you will likely apply for at some point in your lifetime.
So, if you have received your yearly credit report, and have suddenly spotted that it has an error within it, it is understandable that you might be alarmed.
While it is not common for credit reports to have errors, this isn’t a rare thing either. So, if you do spot an error on your credit report, don’t worry, because you are not the first person to experience this.
In fact, so many people experience errors on their credit report that it actually takes a pretty long time to get these mistakes corrected. But how long exactly does it take? In this guide, we’ll find out.
Can You Correct Mistakes On Your Credit Report?
Well, the first thing that you probably want to know is whether, or not, you can actually correct mistakes on your credit report. The answer is, yes, you can correct mistakes on your credit report. But, you will not be able to do this personally.
If people could edit their own credit reports, then everybody on the planet would give themselves a perfect score. That is why, the only way to correct mistakes is to speak to the credit bureau, or to speak to the creditor that has made the mistake.
In order to get these issues corrected, you will need to file a dispute with either the credit bureau or the creditor. Most credit bureaus will offer dispute forms on their website, so to dispute the mistake this way, you can simply fill out the form and submit it.
Alternatively, if you want to speak to the creditor, then it is best to phone the company and deal with the issue this way. Both methods will take a considerable amount of time to be resolved, but if the mistake is in fact a mistake, then the problem will eventually be fixed.
How Long Does It Take To Fix A Mistake On A Credit Report?
There is no set amount of time that it will take for issues on your credit report to be fixed, and this is because it depends on the issue. If you file a dispute with the credit bureau, then there is a lot of back and forth communication that has to occur in order for the issue to be resolved.
The credit bureau will have to speak to the creditor, then the creditor will have to go through their records, and then the creditor will have to confirm or deny the mistake before getting back to the bureau.
The credit bureau will then have to update your report, and then get back to you to let you know the outcome of your dispute.
Due to all this back and forth communication, it can take between 1 and 6 months for the dispute to be resolved, and the mistake to be corrected. Smaller mistakes, such as issues with addresses and names, will likely be resolved quickly.
But, larger issues such as disputes over outstanding debts, and defaults will take a lot longer. So, there is no set amount of time. But, the way in which you dispute the error, and the type of error that it is, will have a huge impact on how long it takes to fix it.
Can Credit Score Issues Be Repaired Quickly?
When you see 6 months written down, you might panic. Especially if you have requested your credit report specifically to apply for credit. If this is the case, then it is likely that you are searching for ways to solve the issues quickly.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any. Once you notice an error in your credit report, you should report it as soon as possible because this is the best way to get the problem fixed quickly. But outside this, there isn’t a way to speed up the process.
Once you have submitted your credit report dispute, you are simply stuck waiting until you hear back from the credit bureau or creditor.
As we have said, ultimately, the length of time that it takes for the issue to be resolved depends on what it is. If it is only small, then it is likely that it will not take very long for it to be fixed. But, if the issue is a larger one, it could take even longer than 6 months to solve it.
In fact, some larger credit report errors have taken years to solve. So, there really is no way to speed up the process.
How Common Are Credit Report Errors?
If you are yet to spot a mistake on your credit report, then you might be wondering how common this is. According to Forbes, it is actually a lot more common than you might expect.
Around one third of Americans have found at least one error on their credit report at some point in their life, and that is actually excluding incorrect personal information. So, around 34% of Americans have experienced an issue with their credit report in relation to their financial history.
Something that might come as a surprise is that it is less common for people to experience errors with their personal information. Only 29% of Americans have experienced issues with their personal information being incorrect on their credit report.
So, if you do find either of these errors on your credit report, don’t panic, it is actually a lot more common than you might expect for credit bureaus to get it wrong.
In short, it usually takes between 1 and 6 months for credit bureaus to resolve any errors on your credit report. Most of the time, if the error is a big one, this will result in it taking longer for the problem to be fixed. So, as soon as you spot the mistake, you should speak to the credit bureau or creditor as soon as possible.