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Legal Rights: Understanding Your Options When Dealing with The Errors on Your Experian Credit Report

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Your credit report plays a very big role in your financial life, impacting everything from loan applications to credit card rates. So, it’s critical that the information it contains about you is accurate and up-to-date. Unfortunately, credit report errors are very common, with around one in every five Americans finding mistakes when they check their reports.

If you find any errors in your Experian credit file, you have legal rights under federal law to get those mistakes corrected. Doing so ensures you get fair treatment from lenders and avoid having errors negatively impact your scores and your creditworthiness. We will discuss what you need to know about your legal rights, the process for filing disputes, sometimes referred to as Experian complaints.

What Are Credit Report Errors?

Credit report errors are mistakes and inaccuracies found in your credit report. Sometimes these errors are found in all of your credit reports and sometimes only contained in one or two credit reports depending on which bureaus your creditors report to. In other words, credit report errors can vary. Some common errors include:

  • Incorrect personal information such as misspelled names or outdated addresses
  • Accounts that don’t belong to you (typical of identity theft)
  • Closed accounts showing as open
  • Balances or payment history details that are wrong
  • Information that is too old or that should not be listed, such as bankruptcies over 10 years old
  • Duplicate entries for the same account or item

In some cases, errors stem from lenders or other data furnishers (like banks), reporting inaccurate details to Experian. Other times, it’s a matter of Experian continuing to report erroneous information in your credit file, on their own accord. Regardless of the reason why errors are appearing on your credit file, you have a right to dispute them and have them permanently removed. If for some reason Experian does not remove the errors, you have a legal right to contact attorneys for consumer protection, also referred to as Consumer Attorneys. Consumer Attorneys can help you file a lawsuit and can be contacted anytime in the dispute process, even before you mail your dispute letter, which we will explain below. 

How To Fix Credit Report Errors

If you find an error or several errors in your Experian credit report, you have a right to take action. In doing so, there is a process you should follow. 

Here are key steps to take in filing a dispute: 

  • Review all entries. Carefully check your full report for any inaccuracies. Do not just focus on sections you think may be wrong. You should instead focus on the report in its entirety. Make note of what information is inaccurate and why. You should then print out or save copies so you can reference them when you are disputing the errors.
  • Submit disputes to Experian. Many people dispute errors by mail, or online. We recommend disputing via certified mail. Disputing by certified mail keeps a record of your disputes as well as when you contacted Experian because it requires a signature when the dispute information is delivered to Experian. Additionally, sometimes disputing errors online may require you to waive certain rights that filing via certified mail, will not require you to waive. In that case, we suggest disputing mistakes via certified mail. When you dispute the errors, be sure to provide your personal information including your name, Social Security number, current address, etc. You should also note each item you are challenging and the specific reasons why. Include copies of any documents supporting your claims. Your dispute will be submitted in the form of a dispute letter. The dispute letter will include all of the information mentioned above. Dispute letter templates can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. Dispute letters should be mailed to Experian at P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013.
  • Experian investigates. After you mail your dispute letter to Experian, Experian will conduct an investigation. Experian has a process it uses for investigating which usually includes checking with lenders or other data furnishers to verify the accuracy of the disputed information. This process should take around 30-45 days. Typically, 30 days unless you include additional documents and forms, in which case it will usually take about 45 days. This timeframe should be honored by Experian since the FCRA set it in place to make sure credit bureaus like Experian are acting fairly and reasonably as it pertains to your credit profile. 
  • Receive an updated report. After you wait 30-45 days, you’ll get an updated Experian report reflecting whether the changes were made or if the bureau considers the information verified. If errors remain, you can file another dispute. For many people spending time challenging the error again is costly and time-consuming. To prevent spending additional time disputing a second time, you should act fast and contact Consumer Attorneys so they can guide you regarding the best next steps.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects your rights when it comes to credit report disputes. Key rights include:

  1. Getting a free copy of your report from each of the consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), annually, so you can review all data listed.
  2. Having inaccurate, unverified, or obsolete information deleted through the reasonable dispute process (mentioned above).
  3. Requiring credit bureaus to correct or delete the information that can’t be verified within a reasonable timeframe.
  4. Requesting that the credit bureau send updated report information to any lenders or others who checked your file over the past 6 months (if you request it).
  5. Seeking damages through lawsuits if credit bureaus don’t correct the errors as required by law.

Checking your Experian credit file frequently for mistakes and being proactive about filing disputes is vital for the prevention of credit damage. Reach out to consumer credit lawyers for guidance as needed, and don’t hesitate to exercise your legal rights if Experian fails to adequately address errors harming your credit report’s accuracy. Protecting your credit is your responsibility and your right!

Also Read: Present Your Best Credit Report for a Competitive Home Loan



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