Federal law provides that you have the right to get a complete copy of each of your credit reports. The three major credit reporting agencies have set up a single website to handle most consumer requests for reports:
(Federal law only requires free reports once a year, but at the beginning of COVID, the credit reporting agencies started to allow free reports weekly. As of this writing, the website still states that it offers weekly reports.)
We strongly recommend that you pull each separate report and take some time to look through them all. Significant things that might hurt your credit or indicate problems would include:
- A report of an address where you have never lived
- The appearance of accounts you do not recognize or remember opening
- Collection items that you were unaware of
- Inquiries at places where you never applied for credit
When disputing inaccurate information, we have found the best practices to be to:
- Dispute in writing through Certified Mail (do NOT dispute by telephone or online)
- Enclose a photocopy of each page of your credit report that has an error and clearly note on that page what the error is - for example “not my account”, “balance was paid and have proof”, “belongs to parent or sibling”, “never lived in that state”, “not correct year of birth”, etc.
- Make sure to keep a copy of everything to send in as part of your dispute as well as your certified mailing receipts
You can call Jim Feagle at 404 373 1978 or Kris Skaar at 770 427 5600.