Gather Materials & Documents To Dispute Errors
Before you submit your dispute, you should gather the personal information and documents the credit bureau or creditor may need to investigate your claim.
When you open a dispute, you may be asked for the following personal information:
- A copy of your drivers license or government-issued ID
- Your current address and addresses for the past two years
In addition, you may be asked for the following documentation to support your dispute:
- Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Report or a police report if an account has been added as a result of identity theft
- Billing statements
- Canceled check or money order stub showing a bill has been paid
Do Organisations Need My Consent To Carry Out A Credit Search
Data protection law doesnt actually require these organisations to have gained your consent before they can carry out a search of your credit file as long as they have a lawful basis for doing so and you have been told that this search is going to take place. If you have taken out a loan or credit card you will probably find this in the original terms and conditions that you signed.
Dispute Your Credit Reports Errors
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both the credit reporting bureau and the company that reports the information about you to the credit bureau are required to accept disputes from consumers and correct any inaccurate or incomplete information about you in that report.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recommends taking these actions:
- Tell the credit bureau, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate. The Federal Trade Commission provides a sample dispute letter that makes this step easier. The letter outlines what information to include, from presenting the facts to requesting that the error be removed or corrected.
- Include copies, not originals, of materials that support your position.
- Consider enclosing a copy of your credit report with the errors circled or highlighted.
- Send your letter by certified mail with return receipt requested to ensure the letter is delivered. Keep your post office receipt.
- Keep copies of everything you send.
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Who Looks At Your Credit Report
When you apply for credit, youll usually be expected to give your permission to the credit provider to check your credit report.
The term credit provider doesnt only include banks and credit card companies. It also includes mail-order companies and, for example, providers of mobile phone services if you have a phone contract .
Employers and landlords can also check your credit report. However, theyll usually only see public record information such as:
- electoral register information
- County Court Judgements .
Q Where Do You Get The Personal Information That Is On My Credit Report
A. The personal information appearing in our credit-reporting system is generally reported to us by credit grantors or other institutions that are responsible for obtaining consumer consent to do so. However, it may also be obtained from other sources permitted by law, including public records, federal and provincial government offices and public registries, or collected directly from individual consumers in response to communications TransUnion has had with them. It is our policy to limit our collection of personal information to include only what is necessary to supply our clients with accurate and up-to-date information so they can make meaningful decisions about consumers. TransUnion periodically reviews the data in its credit-reporting system to ensure that it only contains information relevant to the services we provide.
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How Do I Get A Copy Of My Credit Reports
You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies . You can request a copy from AnnualCreditReport.com.
You can request and review your free report through one of the following ways:
- Mail: Download and complete the Annual Credit Report Request form. Mail the completed form to:
Annual Credit Report Request ServiceP.O. Box 105281Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
You can request all three reports at once or you can order one report at a time. By requesting the reports separately you can monitor your credit report throughout the year. Once youve received your annual free credit report, you can still request additional reports. By law, a credit reporting company can charge no more than $13.00 for a credit report.
You are also eligible for reports fromspecialty consumer reporting companies. We put together a list of several of these companies so you can see which ones might be important to you. You have to request the reports individually from each of these companies. Many of the companies in this list will provide a report for free every 12 months. Other companies may charge you a fee for your report.
You can get additional free reports if any of the following apply to you:
How To Issue A Notice Of Disassociation
If you have financial ties with someone, their credit rating can positively or negatively affect yours. This means anyone you hold a joint mortgage or joint account with can affect whether or not youre accepted for other forms of credit. So, once these ties have been broken, its very important to let the credit reference agencies know. You do this by issuing a notice of disassociation.
Read on to find out more and discover what to do if someone elses credit history, who you are no longer financially linked to, is still affecting your credit applications.
For more information about how to check your credit report for incorrect information, read our guidance to checking your credit report.
And for more frequently asked questions about credit reports, return to our main Consumer Help Section.
Hiring A Collection Agency Or Credit Reporting Service
Q I Corrected Things On My Credit Report And My Score Went Down Can You Explaina The Effect On Your Score Due To Changes Made To Your Transunion Credit Report Depends On The Nature Of The Information That Was Changed What Information Is Left Intact And What Other Items On Your Credit Report Have Been Updated During The Time That The Corrections Were Made
Some specific reasons why your score may not have improved include:
- Your TransUnion credit report included several negative items and some but not all of them were removed. The presence of one or more negative items may still have an adverse impact on your score.
- Your TransUnion credit report reflects some positive changes but there may have been new updates to your file that offset them such as higher balances reported on accounts, new account openings or new credit inquiries.
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Common Credit Reporting Errors
When reviewing your reports, some common personal information and account reporting errors include:
- Personal Information reporting errors. Check to see if your name, address, birthdate and Social Security number are correct. If your report contains inaccurate personal information, it could be a sign that your identity has been stolen.
- Accounts that dont belong to you. Its possible that someone with a similar name could have an account accidentally listed on one of your reports. This could also mean that someone has stolen your identity and opened an account in your name.
- Incorrect account status. When reviewing your reports, make sure your account balance, account numbers and credit limits are accurate. Also, double-check that closed accounts arent reported as open.
- Expired debt. Negative remarks, such as collection accounts and late payments, typically remain on your credit reports for up to seven years. In most cases, the negative information automatically falls off of your credit report. If it doesnt, this could mean the time clock on the debt was reset, which may be an error.
- Reinsertion of incorrect information. Incorrect information that was disputed and removed from your credit report in the past can sometimes reappear. This means you will have to redispute the incorrect information with the credit bureaus or the creditor that is providing the information to have it removed again.
What Is My Credit Report
Think of your credit report as your financial CV. It contains information that helps lenders confirm your identity and decide whether youre a reliable borrower.
This includes details of credit accounts youve held , your current and previous addresses, and any financial connections for example, the name of the person you share a joint account with.
There are likely to be three slightly different versions of your credit report, because lenders dont always share the same information with all three major credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion .
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Q Is It Possible To Transfer Credit Information From Canada To The United States Or Another Country
A. TransUnion Canada and TransUnion in the United States or other countries operate their credit databases separately. TransUnion in the United States or other countries do not have access to your TransUnion Canada credit file and cannot transfer this information to a U.S. credit file. Many United States creditors are able to obtain a copy of your Canadian credit report when directed to therefore, when applying for credit in the United States , we recommend that you advice your creditors that you previously have an established credit history in Canada.
What Is A Financial Associate
A financial associate is anyone you share financial ties with. It could be a partner or spouse with whom you have taken out a joint mortgage. It could even be housemates who are purchasing a television together.
Some financial associates are permanent and others are more short-term particularly if youre buying something together and paying for it over a short period of time. However, no matter what the reason youre financially linked.
So, if your partner has a bad credit rating and yours is good, it could jeopardise your chances of getting credit if youre financial associates. This is the reason its essential to confirm any financial ties that no longer exist using a notice of disassociation.
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When Will My Report Arrive
Depending on how you ordered it, you can get it right away or within 15 days
- online at AnnualCreditReport.com youll get access immediately
- using the Annual Credit Report Request Form itll be processed and mailed to you within 15 days of receipt of your request
It may take longer to get your report if the credit bureau needs more information to verify your identity.
How Do I Check My Credit For Identity Theft
To avoid falling victim to identity theft, examine your credit report regularly. You can access a free copy of your credit report from all three bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUniononce a year. You can also use a tool like or ExtraCredit to monitor your credit.
When you with ExtraCredit, youll see a list of positive accounts, late accounts, collections, public records, inquiries and account balances. Your credit report contains a lot of information about you and about your financial habits, and if that information changes unexpectedly, it can indicate identity theft. Here are five of the biggest fraud warning signs to watch out for.
Warning Sign 1: Incorrect Personal Information
Sometimes, incorrect personal information is the result of an innocent mistake. Other times, it means something sinister is going on. If you see your name misspelled, a wrong phone number or address, or an incorrect Social Security number on your credit report, investigate immediately.
Warning Sign 2: Lender Inquiries You Dont Recognize
Credit bureaus keep the details of companies who ask for information about you on record for at least two years. Promotional inquiries and account review inquiries are nothing to worry about, because theyre preapproved credit offer inquiries or inquiries by companies you already do business with.
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What Is A Notice Of Correction
A Notice of Correction is a 200-word statement you can add to your credit file. You can use this to explain any entry for example, a missed payment.
If you add a Notice of Correction to your credit file, any organisation accessing your credit file through TransUnion will see it. Please bear in mind if you add a Notice of Correction to your credit file, lenders searching our database for information we hold about you are obliged under the Guide to Credit Scoring to read your Notice of Correction.
There Is A Ccj On My Credit File That Has Nothing To Do With Me What Can I Do
Because information relating to county court judgments is often received from the courts without the individuals date of birth this can sometimes lead to mix ups particularly where people with the same name live at the same address.
If this has happened to you, you should raise this as a dispute with the CRA who you obtained your credit file from. They can, in the first instance, try and match you to the correct information. There are easy mistakes to identify such as an obvious mis-keying of a house number or misspelling of a name and in these cases the correct information can be merged, or separated as appropriate. The CRA should reply to let you know that they have resolved the issue or, if they are unable to, explaining why.
If, after raising a dispute with the CRA they have failed to resolve the issue you may want to make a complaint to the ICO. You can find more information about how to make a complaint and the evidence we require can be found in Section 5 of our guidance.
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I Received A Copy Of My Credit File And There Is No Electoral Roll Information On There I Am Definitely Registered To Vote And This Has Caused My Credit Score To Drop What Can I Do About This
If you find that your electoral roll information is inaccurate, or missing, from your credit file the first thing you should do is raise this as a dispute with the CRA that you obtained your credit file from. They can, in the first instance, try and match you to the correct information. There are easy mistakes to identify such as an obvious mis-keying of a house number or misspelling of a name and in these cases the correct information can be merged, or separated as appropriate. The CRA should reply to let you know that they have resolved the issue or, if they are unable to, explaining why.
If, after raising a dispute with the CRA they have failed to resolve the issue you may want to make a complaint to the ICO. You can find more information about how to make a complaint and the evidence we require in section 5 of our guidance.
You may also wish to contact your local authority as well to ensure that the information regarding your address is correct, for example, the right postcode, flat number, etc.
What Are Credit Monitoring Services
If you spot entries in your credit report that don’t seem to relate to you , you may be a victim of the rapidly-growing crime of identity theft. You should notify the credit reporting company immediately.
There are companies that will take the effort of checking your credit report off your hands for a price. The credit reporting bureaus are, not surprisingly, very active in this area. At TransUnion, their credit monitoring service costs $14.95 a month and includes unlimited access to your credit profile and credit score. At Equifax, credit monitoring and identity theft protection starts at $16.95 a month.
There are several other companies offering similar services for similar prices. They usually include features like e-mail alerts when there’s a change to your credit report.
It’s a personal decision whether you feel these services are worth the money. The bottom line is you can always check your credit report for free by mail. Or, you can pay to get it online whenever you want. People who have been the victims of identity theft or people who are worried that they may be susceptible to ID theft may consider the expense worthwhile.
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