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Topics addressed on February 1, 2012:
Must have a personal report before disputing information
I just had a credit check done by my new landlord, and one company had negative feedback. I tried to dispute it online but it is not recognizing the report number. What can I do next?
The first step in disputing something in your credit report is to get a copy of your report directly from Experian, not from your landlord or lender.
Obtaining a report directly from Experian ensures you have the most recent information in an easy-to-read format. The report will include instructions to contact Experian to dispute anything you believe is inaccurate.
You can get a free report once every 12 months at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. You also can request a report directly from Experian at http://www.experian.comfor a nominal fee unless you have been declined based on an Experian report or qualify for a free report for other reasons.
If your application is declined, the lender will provide instructions for getting a report from the credit reporting agency that provided the report used in making the decision.
Simply follow the instructions provided with your personal report to dispute any information you believe is being reported inaccurately. You will be able to enter disputes online, by telephone or by mail. In most instances, entering disputes online results in the fastest resolution.
Experian will communicate your dispute to the source of the information and notify you of the results. Federal law allows 30-45 days for the dispute process to be completed, but in many cases disputes are completed with a matter of a week to 10 business days if they are entered online and mail time is eliminated from the process.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team