Disputing and Correcting Your Credit Report
So you have found or were informed of an inaccuracy on your credit report. What do you do? Anyone who views your credit report will see any inaccurate details. Luckily for you, we have all the information you need to get your reports corrected!
Note: We report what the Bureaus have on file. We are not liable for inaccuracies, nor can we correct your credit report. All we can do is list the steps you need to take and give you all the information we have.
Obtain Your Credit Report
The first step to having your credit report corrected is to obtain a copy. Without seeing your credit report yourself, you cannot verify any inaccuracies. We suggest checking your records to ensure the validity of your claim of inaccuracies. You will want as much proof as possible to display to the Bureaus to have them correct it for you.
Personal Credit Report
For a copy of your Personal Credit Report, AnnualCreditReport.com will provide you with a complete credit report for free once a year. Once you have a copy of your report, you will need to verify that information presented is inaccurate. If it is, you will need to establish which Bureau the incorrect data is coming from.
Business Credit Report
For a copy of your Business Credit Report, we recommend Nav.com. Nav provides business owners with:
- Detailed business credit reports & scores from Experian and Equifax on your own business
- Detailed personal credit reports & scores from Experian & TransUnion on yourself
- Individualized recommendations from 160+ financing options
- Cash flow analysis, social health monitoring and access to business loans, credit cards, insurance, and other small business services
- $1M Identity Theft Protection and full-service indentity restoration
- Build your business credit by reporting your payment as an active tradeline to all 3 of the business credit bureaus
- Lost wallet replacement
- FICO SBSS Score - used by the SBA
We can also assist you with that. Just create a BCR account, and pull an Advantage Pro report. The Advantage Pro report pulls in all the information there is available from Experian, Equifax, D&B, and Ansonia. Period. This will give you the best look at everything that is on your report and from which Bureau it is coming from.
Once you have your hands on your reports, you will need to go over them carefully to determine the validity of the information.
Validate the Information on Your Report
Your report represents your history of debt. All transactions that are done via credit can be reported to the Bureaus to be stored in their databases.
The databases store both positive and negative items. If you pay all of your bills on time, your report will reflect that and lenders will be more likely to accept you. If you constantly miss your payments or default on loans, your report will also reflect that information and lenders will be less likely to accept you.
Remember, the information on your credit report comes from the people you owe money to, and any public record information. Some inaccuracies can be explained as being reported incorrectly, but these inaccuracies can be the tipping point from being accepted to being declined.
The Bureaus leave it to individuals and Companies to monitor their credit for inaccurate information. It is vital that you go over your report with tooth and comb to ensure the validity of the information presented. If you ever discover an inaccuracy on your report, you will need to figure out which Bureau is reporting it.
Determining the Bureau Response
In order to effectively Dispute any inaccurate information on your report, you will need to determine where the information is coming from.
There are 5 Bureaus that could be on your report:
- Experian - Provides credit history and public record information
- Equifax - Provides credit history
- Dun & Bradstreet - Provides credit history and firmographics
- TransUnion - Provides credit history for personal credit reports
- Ansonia - Provides industry specific information
Depending on the report, there could be anywhere from 1-4 Bureaus sourced for information. Generally, at the very end of the report is a source list for the files used. The source list includes the Bureaus used and the name/address of the company file used. Generally, each section of the report lists the Bureau source for that section.
Look over the report carefully for any inaccuracies in address, name, tax id, etc. Once you determine which items are incorrect, look for the listed source. Once you have the knowledge of which Bureaus were reporting the inaccuracies, you can proceed to contacting them and having your report corrected!
Note: The Bureaus generally will not accept Disputes by anyone besides the concerned party. It is always best to contact the Bureaus yourself to ensure the validity of their information on you.
Contacting the Bureaus
Once you have discovered where the inaccuracies are coming from, it is time to get them corrected. You must now contact the Bureau/s responsible for reporting the inaccuracies.
We have done a bit of the work for you, and you will find information on Disputing/Correcting from the major Bureaus below. Once you have initiated a Dispute, you will be on your way to having your credit report reflecting who you really are!
Email the Equifax Canada file # (from the top of the report) and describe the sections that need corrected. Do not send the whole report. Only snips of the incorrect items to firstname.lastname@example.org.