To obtain a copy of your credit report or to dispute an item on the report it is best to provide the credit-reporting agency with your:
- Full name (including Jr., Sr., etc.)
- Spouse’s first name (if married)
- Current address
- Phone number
- Address(es) for the past two years if applicable
- Social Security number
- Birth date
- Current employment information
This can be done on line at:
If there is inaccurate information you will need to dispute it.
Send the dispute to FOUR locations: ALL three major credit-reporting companies and the creditor that has reported the improper information.
Make sure to send the dispute letter via both regular and certified mail.
This means that you will have 9 copies of the dispute letter, 2 to each of the credit reporting companies, (one regular and one certified mail), 2 to the creditor, (one regular and one certified mail), and one copy you keep in your records.
The Three major National Credit Bureaus are:
P.O. Box 740241,
Atlanta GA 30374-0241.
Ph (800) 685-1111
–Experian (Formerly TRW)–
P.O. Box 1240
Allen, TX 75013
–Trans Union Corporation–
Consumer Disclosure Center,
P.O. Box 390,
Springfield PA 19064-0390.
(800) 916-8800, (800) 682-7654, (714) 680-7292.
You should provide a dispute letter via certified mail and an additional dispute letter via regular mail, stating something similar to the following:
P.O. Box 740241,
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Dear Creditor and Credit Reporting Agency:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute also are encircled on the attached copy of the report I received. (Identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.)
This item is (inaccurate or incomplete) because (describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why). I am requesting that the item be deleted (or request another specific change) to correct the information. Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position.
Please reinvestigate this (these) matter(s) and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.
Your Social Security Number
Enclosures: (List of whatever you are enclosing)
What Happens Next
Credit Reporting Agencies, (CRAs) must reinvestigate the items in question – usually within 30 days — unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all relevant data you provide about the dispute to the information provider.
After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the CRA, it must investigate, review all relevant information provided by the CRA, and report the results to the CRA. If the information provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate, it must notify all nationwide CRAs so that they can correct this information in your file.
When the reinvestigation is complete, the CRA must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change.
If an item is changed or removed, the CRA cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the CRA gives you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the provider.
Basic Information on how long can a CRA report negative information?
Seven years. There are certain exceptions:
- Information about criminal convictions may be reported without any time limitation.
- Bankruptcy information may be reported for 10 years.
- Information reported in response to an application for a job with a salary of more than $75,000 has no time limit.
- Information reported because of an application for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limit.
- Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven However, if the disputed information is subsequently verified, we will reinsert the information into your file and notify you in writing within five business days.
If our investigation does not resolve the dispute, you may add a 100 word explanatory statement to your report. At your request, we will assist you in preparing the statement. You may also request a description of how we conducted the investigation including the name, address, and telephone number of anyone we contact for information.
Also, you can contact the credit bureaus to remove your name and address from major credit bureau lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers for two years. If you complete and return an “opt-out” form, provided on request from the credit bureau, you will be off these lists permanently. A phone call or mailing to any one of the three nationwide credit bureaus will get you off the lists.
Information provided to “legal questions” or regarding “fraud updates” are for informational purposes only. While I hope and believe the information will be helpful, I do not warrant that the information is accurate or complete.
Information is provided only in accordance with Illinois and Federal Law. I am not licensed to practice law in any state other than Illinois. The information does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. If you want legal advice, please consult a local lawyer directly. While I would welcome the opportunity to be that lawyer, I do not accept clients or render legal advice until the completion of a client intake form and a signed retainer agreement.