Atlanta Mortgage News

Equifax in the news- Protecting Yourself

September 22nd, 2017 3:26 PM by Elizabeth Washburn

With all the talk about the security breach at Equifax, quite a few people have asked for guidance on disputing their credit. 

If you do encounter a mistake on your credit report, several steps need to be taken to correct the matter:
 
1. The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from each of the three major CRAs (Credit Bureaus): Equifax, http://equifax.com; Experian, http://experian.com; and TransUnion, http://www.tuc.com. Credit reports from every bureau are provided to consumers for free once a year. 
NOTE - They will try to get you to buy the credit score. Save your money. You don't need it to find out if there are errors or fix discrepancies.
 
2. If there is an error, in a written letter, tell the credit bureau what information you believe to be inaccurate on their report, and only their report, i.e. don't dispute an item with Equifax that is on the TransUnion report. Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position with your complete name and address. Identify each item you dispute and request deletion or correction. Be sure to make copies of your dispute letter and papers.
 
3. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document when the bureau received your request.
 
4. The FCRA mandates that all Bureaus 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 credit card, i.e. third party. After the credit card company receives notice of a dispute from the bureau, it must investigate, review all relevant information and report the results back to the bureau.
 
5. If the disputed information is found to be inaccurate, the credit card company must notify all nationwide Bureaus so they can correct this information On your report. Disputed information that cannot be verified must be deleted from your credit.
 
6. When the reinvestigation is complete, the Bureau must give you the written results and another free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or removed, the Bureau cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the credit card company verifies its accuracy and completeness, and the Bureau gives you a written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the credit card company.
 
7. In addition to the credit bureaus, you should also write to the credit card company about the error. Again, include copies of documents that support that they made an error. Further, at your request, the Bureau must send notices of corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months.
Posted by Elizabeth Washburn on September 22nd, 2017 3:26 PM