Understanding your credit score is only the first step to financial success. You also should monitor your credit report periodically, which you can do by receiving a free yearly credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Three national reporting agencies (or credit bureaus) – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, track credit scores and compile credit reports. Your credit score and report may vary by agency, depending on the information each has received from lenders. It’s important that you ensure the information on your credit report is accurate and up-to-date in order for it to help you get the credit you need.
How to fix errors on your report
If you find an error, fill out the dispute form provided by the credit reporting agency. The credit reporting agency must investigate and respond to you within 30 days. You can get your credit report from many sources, but only the credit agencies can actually correct the data on your report. Contact the three major credit agencies directly:
- Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or www.equifax.com
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com
- TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or www.transunion.com
If you are in the process of applying for a loan, immediately notify your lender of any incorrect information in your report. Your lender will need to reorder your credit report and score once any changes have been made to your information at the credit reporting agency. Fixing small errors may have little or no impact on your score, but correcting significant errors may have big impact.
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