Experian defines The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) as a “federal law that helps to ensure the accuracy, fairness and privacy of the information in consumer credit bureau files.” The FCRA regulates how credit reporting agencies can collect, access, use and share the data collected in consumer reports.
It is important to review your credit report/s regularly. There are some creditors who do not report information to all three credit bureaus, frequently. Make sure to review each report at least once a year, or preferably more.
How To File Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Disputes?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) generally requires a consumer reporting agency (CRA) to notify a furnisher when a consumer disputes the accuracy or completeness of an item of information provided by the furnisher to the CRA.
When filing a dispute, you can use one of the following avenues:
- You can hire a credit repair professional or a lawyer. This option can save you time, and effort. It will also ensure that you present a strong case.
- Online Dispute Form – Using an online form is simple and convenient. You can find a dispute form on the website of the credit bureau with which you are dealing (Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). Once filled in, this form will be sent directly to the respective credit bureau.
- Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter – though there should be a form sent to you with your credit report for disputing mistakes, that is not always the case. Sample letters are available for use, online. You can also create your own credit report dispute letter.
What Types Of Disputes Exist Under The FCRA?
There are 2 types of credit report disputes listed under the FCRA: Direct, and Indirect disputes.
- Direct disputes: When you dispute incorrect information on your credit report directly to the company that is the source of the information (called a “furnisher” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act), often a creditor, that is called a direct dispute.
- Indirect disputes: When you dispute inaccurate information to a consumer reporting agency (CRA), such as Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, you are not going directly to the furnisher, but rather giving the CRA the power to negotiate with the furnisher.
Many consumers assume that their best option is to make a direct dispute to the data furnisher.
What Can I Dispute On My Credit Report?
You can dispute credit report items that are inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, or that you believe cannot be verified.
- Disputes related to accounts or public records,
- Disputes related to your personal information,
- Payments reported late that were paid on time,
- Accounts that you do not owe,
- Inaccurate credit limit/loan amount or account balance,
- Inaccurate creditor, or
- Inaccurate account status, for example, an account status reported as past due when the account is actually current.
Your credit report is an important and powerful document. Errors in your credit history can be financially devastating. Carefully read through your credit reports, and file any disputes regarding inaccurate information, and wilful, or negligent actions made under the FCRA.
If your dispute is rejected, contact a lawyer or a legal representative firm, like Fair Credit for better representation. Remember your rights as a consumer, and the FCRA law which offers consumer protection.