As a consumer, your credit information is reported to the credit bureau by the issuer of that credit. This includes loans and credit cards. The bureau maintains a database of this data; however, the bureau relies on the provider of that information for its accuracy. If there is a mistake, you have the right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to file a dispute with the credit bureau and have those errors or inaccuracies removed.
Request your credit report. You can receive the report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. There you can annually order one report from each of the bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You can request one bureau's report, only two or all three.
Dispute any inaccuracies or errors on your report at the bureau's website. Each bureau has an online form where you can specify the items in dispute and your reasons. Print a copy of the dispute form for your records once you're done.
Expect to receive a response within 30 days. The FCRA allows bureaus that much time to complete an investigation. Since you filed your dispute online, the bureaus will send your results to you via e-mail. You will also receive a new copy of your credit report with the disputed items removed.
Contact the supplier of the information on your report if you are unsatisfied with the investigation results. Keep in mind that the credit bureau can only verify information. If there's an error or discrepancy within the creditor's records, you must rectify the error at that source.