Remember the woman who sued Equifax for $18 million because they wouldn't fix errors on her credit report even after she diligently stayed on top of them for 2 years?

Having black marks on your files could mean denial of job offers, higher interest rates on loans, higher insurance rates, or outright denials for credit. Disputing an error on your credit report is difficult, but it can be done.

But first, let me back up and explain that AnnualCreditReport.com is the only legit and official site to get free access to your credit reports once a year.

When it comes to credit checks for a job, an employer has to tell you they will check your credit and you have to sign off on it. If they make an adverse hiring decision based on your credit, they must tell you that's the reason why.

If you know there are black marks on your credit, be proactive and tell your potential employer before they check. Don't let it be a surprise to them. Coming clean like that is a great way to build trust.

And just like the woman who sued Equifax, if you're getting pushback when you ask for errors to be removed, you don't roll over and play dead. You've got to document, follow-up, document again, follow-up again...and then take it to the next level if necessary!

Follow this advice to dispute an error on your credit report

  • File your dispute at the same time with both the credit issuer and the credit bureau.
  • Do not use the automated system to dispute. Always use the manual form.
  • Equifax's manual form is available here. TransUnion's manual form is available here.
  • Send all documents by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • If the problem is not fixed, re-dispute it with the bureau and the credit issuers.
  • If that fails, you must sue both the credit issuer and the credit bureau in small claims court. Talk to a clerk of court for guidance on the process. You do *not* need a lawyer to do this.
  • Find out where the registered agent of the credit issuer and the credit bureau is in the state by calling your state's corporation commission. Then serve them with the suit.
  • Know that most of the time, the offenders will usually cave before the court date and remove the black mark from your report.
  • If all else fails, contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for help.

This requires persistence and guerrilla tactics on your part. And it's important to note that you must use the manual dispute form. Because you can send all the supporting documents in the world and the credit bureau won't pass them on when they get in touch with the credit issuer. They simply send a 3-digit code that describes the nature of your dispute to the issuer.

 

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

Show Comments 0