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Just Ask Shannon – Disputing A Credit Report

January 1, 2009

Disputing A Credit Report

Dear Shannon: I saw you on BET talking about credit and I was wondering how I could get a free credit report, and how can I dispute incorrect information. Anonymous, from Atlanta, GA.

Dear Anonymous: You can get a free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. After going through your report, if there is information that is inaccurate, you have two paths you can take: Contact the creditor, or contact the credit agency. Contacting the creditor may certainly be the faster route. Call them and explain the mistake (i.e., they wrote that you missed a payment by 90 days, but it was actually only 30). They are required to report the change to the credit agency.

You can also contact the credit agency (Trans Union, Equifax and/or Experian) to file a dispute. The Federal Trade Commission has a very informative website with a sample letter, descriptions of documents, and other information you will need to send to the credit agency to dispute your claim. It typically takes about 30 days for the credit agency to respond. Go t http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre21.htm.

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