Disputes with credit bureaus like Experian can happen, most often because people donâ€™t realize that they need to keep a close eye on their credit reports. By the time they realize thereâ€™s a problem they can have serious credit issues that take a long time to correct. Rather than let that happen, be sure to get a copy of your credit report from Experian and the other two credit bureaus (TransUnion and Equifax) at least once a year. You can get them for free every twelve months, so it wonâ€™t cost you anything to see whatâ€™s on them. If you find a problem, dispute it right away.
Why Dispute a Credit Report Entry?
If you donâ€™t dispute something on your credit report, the credit bureau assumes that itâ€™s correct and that you agree with it. By disputing it, youâ€™re clearly saying that itâ€™s either:
1. Not yours and may belong to a person with a similar name or social security number.
2. Not correct and needs to be adjusted in some way (amount owed, payment status, etc).
While you canâ€™t have items that genuinely belong to you removed from your credit report, you can easily dispute the ones that are incorrect. Call Experian and let them know which item youâ€™re disputing and why. The company then has 30 days to decide whether itâ€™s going to agree with you and remove the item or not. If it canâ€™t prove that the item belongs to you, it must be removed from your credit report.
What to Do if the Item Remains?
If the bureau refuses to remove or adjust the item in question, and it insists that itâ€™s yours, send a letter â€“ certified mail, return receipt requested â€“ to Experian detailing the issue. Request that the letter be placed into your file. While it wonâ€™t repair your credit in the same way that getting the item removed will, it definitely helps. It shows future lenders that youâ€™ve disputed an item, why youâ€™ve disputed it, and what the item is. That way, the lender can make their own judgment about that item and how it reflects on you and your credit.
How to Repair Your Credit?
In addition to disputing an item, make sure that your social security number, driverâ€™s license number, address, and other personal information is correct. If itâ€™s not you might be confused with someone else who has a similar social or a very similar name. This is especially important to all the â€˜John Smithsâ€™ of the world who have a very common name that could be easily confused with someone else.
Repairing your credit is about watching your credit reporting data and paying bills on time, but itâ€™s also about being responsible with your other personal information and keeping things current. The more of that you do, the better the chances that youâ€™ll catch a problem right away when itâ€™s more easily fixed. When youâ€™re able to take care of a problem with Experian or any other credit bureau quickly through the dispute process, you can keep your credit repair goals moving in the right direction.