Credit reporting agencies (CRAs), such as credit bureaus (e.g. Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) are responsible for collecting consumer credit information and putting together a credit report with your credit score. This report is often resold to employers, landlords, insurers, and others who need to check your credit before deciding whether to enter into a contract with you.
Because so many major decisions are made based on your credit report, it is important that the report is accurate. However, as many consumers have discovered, CRA reports are not always free from mistakes. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers may dispute any inaccuracies on their credit report.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the first step is to file your dispute with the CRA, who is then legally required to investigate the alleged inaccuracies, unless they find the dispute frivolous. If there is a change made to your report, the CRA will send you a free copy of it and cannot put the disputed information back in your file without verification of the accuracy.
You will also need to let the company that provided the CRA with the disputed information (e.g. the credit card company) know what information you dispute. If the company still reports the disputed items, it must let the CRA know about the dispute. If the information is found to be accurate, the company must tell the CRA to delete the incorrect information from the report.
If you find an error in your credit report and cannot seem to get it deleted, a consumer law attorney may be able to help you with you with your claim.