- Order your credit reports from the top three credit bureaus — Equifax, Trans-Union and Experian. It’s likely that each is slightly different. Creditors aren’t required to report to all three credit bureaus, so they typically report only to the credit bureau to which they also subscribe.
- Examine your reports carefully. Nearly every consumer has an error on at least one credit report from one of the major credit bureaus. Carefully look for everything from typing errors, outdated and incomplete information to inaccurate account histories. Make a thorough list of items you want to dispute and why.
- Dispute. You can either complete the dispute form provided with your credit report or write a letter. Clearly identify each mistake, and state why it’s wrong. Send a photocopy of your credit report with the mistakes circled to the reporting credit bureau. Include copies of supporting documents.
- Document, document, document. Keep copies and records of all the forms, letters and documentation you send to the credit bureaus, plus the dates you sent them. The credit bureau must investigate any relevant dispute within 30 days of receiving your letter. Any item that is not verified by a creditor is removed.