Did you know that one in every five Americans has an error on their credit report, according to the Federal Trade Commission? If you’re one of the unlucky ones with an error, you could be denied credit when you apply, pay more for loans, or face other problems with employer background checks, utility companies, or cell phone service providers who check your credit.
You don’t want omissions or inaccuracies on your credit report to cost you financial opportunities or to make your loans more expensive. To avoid this, you need to keep tabs on your credit. If you spot a problem, such as inaccurate information on your TransUnion credit report, you can follow this guide to dispute the inaccurate info and get your credit report back in shape.
1. Obtain a copy of your TransUnion report and check for all errors. You can get a free copy of your TransUnion credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies each year.
You’ll need to visit the website, enter your personal information, verify your identity, and select that you want the TransUnion report. Once you’ve downloaded your report, look through it carefully to make sure:
Your name is correct and there aren’t any aliases listed on your report that you don’t use to identify yourself.
Any addresses on your report actually are places you’re associated with.
There are no accounts on your report that don’t belong to you.
None of your accounts are reporting inaccurate information, such as late payments you didn’t make.
There are no inaccurate public records, such as judgements against you, bankruptcies, or foreclosures that don’t belong to you.
Make a list of all of the inaccuracies that you wish to dispute with TransUnion.
2. Submit a dispute to TransUnion. Your next step is to submit a dispute to TransUnion. The easiest way to do this is to submit your dispute online. You can visit Dispute.TransUnion.com to get the process started. You’ll need to either log in or create an account by providing some information including: Full name, current address, previous address, Social Security number and date of birth.
You’ll need to choose a user name and a password, as well as entering security questions. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be asked a few questions to verify your identity, such as places you’ve previously lived.
Next, you’ll be asked to agree to many parameters of the dispute, such as agreeing to be notified via email regarding the outcome of your investigation. Once you’ve gone through this process and clicked that you agree, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can see the status of in-progress disputes or initiate a new investigation.
If you request to initiate a full investigation, you’ll see a complete copy of your credit report including past addresses reported; employment data; and account information. You can click “Request an Investigation” if there’s any listed accounts you believe are providing inaccurate information. You’ll be asked to provide some details about what, specifically, you’re disputing, and TransUnion will then begin looking into your claim of an error on your report.
You can also initiate a dispute via phone by calling 800-916-8800 or can submit your forms requesting a dispute via mail to:
TransUnion Consumer Solutions, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000
Include documents supporting your dispute
If you have documents in support of your dispute, you should include them with the information you provide to TransUnion. Some of the documents you may wish to provide include:
Copies of your identification
Cancelled checks to provide proof of payment
Proof, such as police reports, that accounts on your report are the result of identity theft
Court papers including bankruptcy papers
A letter from a lender indicating your account has been corrected or updating or verifying account status
If you are able to provide documented evidence to TransUnion to support your assertions that you have inaccurate information on your credit report, you can maximize the chances TransUnion will find in your favor and remove or correct inaccurate information on your report.