Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

How To Fix a Credit Report Error

You've just pulled a copy of your credit report for the first time in over a year. As you casually review it, you notice a minor error. Looks like your address is wrong. No problem, you think. You'll just contact the credit bureau and have them fix it. But as you continue to peruse, you see a line of credit open for a department store you have never been to.

How common is this? Very. According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study, one in four consumers identified errors on their credit report that might affect their credit. Fortunately, these can be fixed in most cases.

Remember, you are entitled to an annual free credit report from all three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) at Take advantage of that right to learn more about your credit history. If you find an error, here is some general information on the credit dispute process and how to fix a credit report error.

Types of Credit Report Errors

Credit report errors can be categorized into three groups. Some errors are more benign, like having the wrong address on your report. Others can be much more damaging and lead to a low credit score, high interest rates, and a denial of credit. Types of errors include:

  • Inaccurate account details (such as listing the wrong credit limit)
  • Identity errors (having the wrong name or phone number listed on your account)
  • Fraudulent accounts/identity theft

Contact the Credit Reporting Bureau

If you find an error on one of your credit accounts, it is best not to panic. While these situations happen frequently, reporting the error as soon as possible is in your best interest. Your first line of attack is to contact the credit reporting bureau's consumer dispute center, file a dispute form, and document the suspected error.

The law is on your side via the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). FCRA mandates that both the credit reporting company and the card issuer or creditor are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.

Start with a written letter sent via certified mail, and make sure you keep the return receipt. Your letter should state all the disputed information and a request to have it removed from your credit report from all three bureaus.

After the credit bureau receives notice of the dispute, they must investigate within 30 days and notify the creditor reporting the information to perform an investigation, thereby reporting back to the credit bureau. If the creditor finds the negative item is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide credit reporting companies so they can correct the disputed item in your file.

Contact the Creditor

You may also need to contact the creditor directly. If a creditor or lender is reporting incorrect information to the credit bureaus or you are the victim of identity theft, document any contact you have had with the creditor and put everything in writing.

While this might not solve the problem immediately, it will put you on the road to possibly getting the inaccurate information removed. If you are correct and the item is inaccurate, the creditor or lender must immediately report this to the three credit reporting agencies.

What if I Am Dissatisfied With the Results of My Dispute?

There are a number of things you can do if you feel your dispute did not end fairly or the error still exists. The most important thing you can do is speak with a qualified credit repair lawyer about how to solve these problems and remove the negative information from your report. You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), your state's Department of Consumer Affairs/Consumer Protection Bureau, or your state's attorney general's office.

How To Fix a Credit Report Error: Related Resources

Find Out More About Fixing Credit Report Errors

Finding an error on your credit report can be extremely troubling. While you work hard to maintain a high credit score, sometimes errors or outright identity theft can cause you to have bad credit through no fault of your own. If you have reported your credit error but are not satisfied with the results, you may wish to speak with a consumer law attorney specializing in credit repair. They can help you write a dispute letter to your credit card company or credit bureau.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified consumer attorney to assist with any credit, banking, or finance issues you face.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Guide to Consumer Financial Protections: Credit, Banking, and Debt Relief

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options