If you're ever a victim of identity's or notice inaccuracies or discrepancies on your credit report, you should file a report to the credit agency. In fact, you should file disputes or reports with all three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. There are a number of types of disputes and reports that you can file with the credit reporting agencies and all of them will help protect your good credit rating and ability to make credit purchases.
Reports for Identity Theft Victims
If you're ever the victim of identity theft, or someone has used information fraudulently to make credit purchases are open credit accounts in your name, you will need to file a fraud alert with all three major credit reporting agencies. Filing a fraud alert stops criminals from the further damaging your credit record by preventing a would-be thief from opening any more accounts in your name. In order to file a credit fraud alert, contact the toll-free fraud number of the consumer credit reporting agency. The numbers for the credit reporting agencies are as follows:
- Trans Union: 1(800) 680 - 7289
- Equifax: 1(800) 525 - 6285
- Experian 1(800) 397-3742
After you place a fraud alert in your credit file, you are entitled to receive one free copy of your credit report from each of the three consumer reporting agencies; furthermore, if you ask, only the last four digits of your Social Security number will appear on future credit reports.
Disputing Inaccuracies in Your Credit Report
When you receive copies of your credit report, you should always review them carefully for any discrepancies or inaccuracies. You should look for credit inquiries from companies that you haven't contacted or requested credit from, accounts that you did not open, and debts on accounts of that you cannot explain. Ensure that information, like your Social Security number, address, name or initials, and employers are all correct. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, dispute the information and get it removed - as soon as possible.
In order to have inaccurate information removed from your credit report you should always write a letter to the consumer credit reporting agency explaining the inaccuracies and asked that they be removed. Once you report the inaccurate information to the credit bureau, they will contact the creditor and ask them to verify the information. If the creditor cannot verify the information, then negative account listing will be deleted. Always make sure to send the dispute letter to the credit reporting agency to the address listed on your credit reports for disputing inaccurate information. Furthermore, always be sure to send the letter via certified U.S postal mail. Sending the letter via certified mail will provide you with proof mailing, delivery and acceptance of the letter.
Also, you should always contact the creditor directly by writing a letter to them and demanding an explanation of inaccurate information or discrepancies listed on your personal credit report and demand that they be corrected or deleted by the credit report. Again, be sure to send the letter via certified U.S mail.