In order to remove mistakes or clear up unsubstantiated information in your credit report, you’ll need to dispute the information, which is every consumer’s right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). However, disputing errors on your credit report the wrong way could be damaging or ineffective. (If you need help writing a dispute, consider using this sample dispute letter as a reference.)
It’s important to note that repairing your credit is something you can hire a professional to help you with, or something you can do on your own for free. Either way, if you’re in the process of disputing problems on your credit reports, these are six mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
1. Not knowing what exactly is on your credit reports
The first step to preparing your dispute is having copies of your credit reports. You can get free copies of your credit reports once per year by going to AnnualCreditReport.com. But many people make the mistake of only getting a report from one of the three main credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — because they assume the information is the same across the board. This isn’t the case, so it’s important you look at all three reports so you know what is on each, what needs to disputed, and with whom.