— CONTACT LENDERS
Another option: Reach out to the lender on the account where the error showed up and ask that they update the credit bureaus with correct information.
— CONTACT THE CFPB
Not getting anywhere with the credit bureaus? Try the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency with the authority to write and enforce rules for the credit reporting industry and to monitor the compliance of the three agencies.
The CFPB also accepts complaints from consumers who discover incorrect information on their reports or are have trouble getting mistakes corrected. And consumers can contact the CFPB if they have issues with the improper use of a credit report, problems with credit monitoring and the improper use of a credit report, among other concerns.
The credit reporting agencies have 15 days to respond to the complaints with a plan for fixing the problem; consumers can dispute that response.
The CFPB also takes complaints on credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, consumer loans and private student loans. To file a credit reporting complaint, consumers can do so at www.consumerfinance.gov/Complaint . Or by phone, by calling 1-855-411-CFPB (2372).
— AVOID CREDIT REPAIR FIRMS
The Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers against firms that offer services claiming to improve a person's credit report for a fee. Such firms can't do anything that you couldn't do yourself.
Since credit bureaus are required to check disputed information on a consumer's credit report within a few weeks, or remove it, a typical tactic of credit repair firms is to spam credit bureaus with such requests in hopes the negative items end up being dropped.
But credit experts say that often those items will show up again the next time the credit card company or other creditor issues an update to the credit bureaus.