Experts recommend annual review of your credit report, and not only to determine your financial wellness. An annual review also clues you in to any errors on your report, which happens more often than you might think.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you must take certain steps to dispute errors after you find them. Doing so ensures information is accurate and that you are not receiving penalties for a financial transaction that never took place.
Contact the credit reporting company in writing
In a letter, clearly state which entry you believe is inaccurate and provide copies of documentation supporting your claim. You can also include a printed copy of the report in question with the questionable entries highlighted. Make a copy of the letter and all other documents for your own records.
Contact the information provider
While the credit reporting company should send its findings to the information provider (i.e. the creditor, organization or person who filed the information about your missed payments) to verify the accuracy of your claim, you should do the same. Send the same documents to the information provider that you sent to the credit reporting company (including a letter stating your claim, the credit report with the erroneous entry marked, supporting documents, etc.).
Review the new report
You should receive an answer from the credit reporting company within 30 days. If the information is inaccurate, the company will remove it, and you will receive an updated report without the entry. You can also ask the credit reporting company to send a new copy of the report to anyone who has received it in the last six months.