Did you know that everyone is entitled to one free credit report a year?
And it's important to take advantage of it, financial guru Alexa Von Tobel says, because there could be errors you didn't know were there!
"I want you every year to check AnnualCreditReport.com and check your credit report [for] misinformation" Alexa stresses.
Red flags might include incorrect personal information, mistaken or fraudulent accounts or cards and derogatory marks on your credit, such as bankruptcy or foreclosure, she says.
Hopefully you won’t find any errors -- but if you do, be sure to contact both the credit bureau and the company or institution that provided the erroneous information to the bureau, advises Alexa.
Here’s a sample dispute letter from the Federal Trade Commission for filing a dispute with the credit bureaus:
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. I have circled the items I dispute on the attached copy of the report I received.
This item [identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.] is [inaccurate or incomplete] because [describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why]. I am requesting that the item be removed [or request another specific change] to correct the information.
Enclosed are copies of [use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records and court documents] supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this [these] matter[s] and [delete or correct] the disputed item[s] as soon as possible.
Enclosures: [List what you are enclosing.]
Check out the FTC website for more tips and guidelines when disputing errors on your credit report.