Correcting errors on credit reports

Karen Stiles

Correcting errors on credit reports

CREATED Jun. 19, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Have you been denied credit, or harrassed by a bill collector for a debt you do not owe?

How do these errors occur and what can you do about it?

Some errors occur due to a credit bureau listing someone else's debt on your report.

Others may be due to a creditor reporting inaccurate information, or not properly updating information to the credit reporting agency.

If you become aware of an error on your credit report:

• Write a letter, disputing the error, to the credit reporting agency who is reporting the debt.

Include all pertinent information such as your name and address, a copy of your credit report with the errors circled, and copies of any documentation that you might have to prove that you are not responsible for this debt.

• In the letter, you should also ask them to correct or delete erroneous information as soon as possible.

• Ask for an updated report to verify that the errors have been corrected.

How do you get the debt collectors to stop calling?

Tell them that you do not want to be contacted by phone, and that you will only communicate with them in writing, and only if they can provide written proof that you owe the debt.

If they continue to harrass you by phone, contact the state attorney general's office or the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint.

You might also want to ask about how to file a lawsuit against them for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.