Fix those mistakes -- no one else will

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Fix those mistakes -- no one else will

Regular credit report monitoring is essential to maintaing control over your credit report. If you find a damaging error on your credit reports, it is critical to make a correction as soon as possible. Follow these basic guidelines, when doing a review of your credit reports:

* Make a copy of your credit report and circle every item you believe is incorrect. This is the first step of tracking mistakes when doing a review of your credit reports.

* Write a letter to the credit bureau (the address will be printed on the report). Explain each dispute and request an investigation to resolve the issues. If you have supporting paperwork, send copies along. Do not send originals. Often, you can do this online instead of through U.S. mail.

* If using traditional mail, send all materials to the credit bureau by certified mail, return receipt requested, so that you can prove it was received.

* Send a copy of the letter to the creditor whose credit statements are in dispute. This could be a credit card company, a bank or any other lender. Refer to a billing statement to find the correct address for disputes, because it's usually different from the payment address.

Once it receives your request, the credit bureau will initiate an investigation, and contact the creditor that supplied the credit data you disputed.

If the creditor cannot verify the entry is correct, it has to be removed from your report. When the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must send you a free copy of your credit file to show changes were made.

If the investigation uncovers an error, you have the right to ask the credit bureau to send a corrected version of your credit report to everyone who received the report during the past six months.

Also, if there's a problem with one credit bureau, you're likely going to need to contact all three major agencies and go through the same process.



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