If you’ve just finished reading our last article on how to check your credit score, you hopefully got some good news and there aren’t any issues with it. If, on the other hand, you found something that’s blatantly wrong or just a bit confusing, it’s time to do some digging and see what’s going on.
Using A Credit Repair Service
There are companies who advertise that they can fix your bad credit reports. While typically sold to people who have an actual bad credit score, they also say that they can fix any errors on your report.
For the former, this is largely a scam, as the only way to repair a bad credit score is over time by paying your loans back properly. And fixing errors on your credit report is free to do, so it’s best to avoid these companies entirely.
TransUnion explicitly says on their site that “TransUnion will not provide any additional services or treat a consumer differently due to the fact that the consumer has retained and paid a credit repair company. Whether you launch a dispute yourself or through a credit repair company, the outcome of the investigation will be the same.”
Filling Out The Dispute Form
Equifax has an online form you can fill out here, but even they say you can get faster and better service by faxing the form in or mailing it to their office in Montreal.
TransUnion has a PDF you can download and fill out here.
Make sure you’re explaining the issue correctly and that you’ve done a bit of investigating on your own. Things like student loans and store credit cards sometimes come with odd names attached to them, and just because you don’t recognize it doesn’t mean it’s not yours.
Both companies are obligated by law to investigate all disputes, but they won’t clear something off just because you asked them to.
With any luck you’ll hear back that the correction has been made and you can relax, knowing your credit report is accurate.
If the problem with your report was suspicious, you might want to consider using one of the monitoring services provided by both companies. For about $15 a month they’ll alert you to changes in your credit profile and score. It may make sense to have this service for a few months to make sure nothing else strange happens to your report.