In our last Counsel for Life newsletter, we included a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) survey. First we asked, “How often do you pull your credit report?” Over half of respondents (57.1%) replied that they only check their credit reports when applying for credit, a job, an apartment, etc. We then asked, “The last time I checked my credit report, I found ______ errors.” The majority of respondents replied that they found one to two errors on their report, and an astounding 14.3% of respondents replied that they found more than five errors! Only 1 out of 4 consumers polled found zero errors. Said differently, 3 out of 4 polled consumers found errors the last time they checked their credit report.
What do I do if I find errors on my credit report?
We asked, “If I found errors on my credit report, I would_______.” Nearly three-quarters of our respondents replied that they would contact the creditor(s) and ask them to fix it. In our opinion at LeavenLaw, this is the wrong answer, as contacting the furnisher of the information (i.e., the creditor) does not trigger your rights under the FCRA. Rather, you must dispute through the credit reporting agency first, otherwise your dispute rights under the FCRA are extremely limited.
How do I dispute an error on my credit report?
First, the FCRA requires that each credit reporting agency (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) provides an efficient and easily accessible dispute process to consumers. To achieve this goal, the credit bureaus allow you to quickly dispute an incorrect item online through their websites. However, disputing an error online through the bureau websites is a terribly ineffective and incomplete process. For example, when you dispute online through the credit reporting agency website, you are limited to a few hundred words to describe your dispute, and you are unable to attach documentation in support. Rather, the better way to dispute an error on your credit report is through a written letter describing the dispute in detail and attaching documentation in support.
How often should I dispute an error on my credit report?
Lastly, we asked, “If my disputed credit report errors were NOT fixed, I would _________.” 14.3% of polled consumers replied that they would “just let it go; it is way too much of a hassle and not worth any more of my time to deal with it.” This is the wrong approach. Your credit file and credit reports are too important to just let it go. On the other hand, 85.7% of respondents got it right by replying that they would dispute an error again. This is the correct approach, as there is an adage in the FCRA world that says “Dispute, Dispute, Dispute.” LeavenLaw and its attorneys have extensive experience in disputing errors on credit reports.
If you have any errors on your credit report, please do not hesitate to contact LeavenLaw to schedule a free consultation to discuss your FCRA disputing rights at (727) 327-3328, or visit the firm’s website at www.LeavenLaw.com.