It’s important to regularly check your credit score and report for a couple of reasons. Not only can you get an idea of where your credit score stands, but you can also confirm that everything is correct. If you notice that there’s incorrect information filed on your report, you’ll want to write a letter to the credit bureau that reported it. Take a look below to see what information needs to be included in the letter.

Personal Information

You want to include any important personal information, including your full name, address, and phone number. You’ll also want to include all addresses you’ve lived at in the past 2 years so they can have an easier time confirming you’re who you say you are. You should also include any other names you’ve gone by in the past, including your maiden name for those that are married and divorced name for those that are divorced.

Identifying Information

You’ll also want to include all important identifying information. This includes things like your social security number, a copy of an active government-issued ID, and a copy of a piece of mail that shows your name and address. You’ll want to include as much information as you can so they can get the issue taken care of quicker. If you aren’t sure what to send, reach out, and see if they have a list of required documents.

Reason for Writing

The next part is one of the most important steps. Not only do you want to include the exact reason why you’re writing, but you also want to include why you think the item was reported in error. When writing, you want to make sure you’re as clear as possible and give as much information as needed. Try and stay as professional and unbiased as you can.

Proof of Mistake

Once you get your letter written and your important documents copied, the next step is to include information that shows the mistake and proof of why it’s incorrect. You’ll want to send a copy of your credit report with the item highlighted in some way so they know exactly what you’re disputing. For proof, you can send a receipt showing payment, documents showing that the account isn’t in your name, or documents that show that the matter was already settled.

Desired Outcome

Finally, you’ll want to include what the desired outcome is. Make sure you add somewhere in there that you expect an investigation done within the time frame stated in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In addition, let them know that you want the entry changed or taken off as a result of the supporting documents showing that it’s a mistake. Finish off the letter with your printed name and your signature.

After sending your letter, you’ll want to give them some time to do an investigation. After a while, check your credit report and see if the entry is still there. If the entry is gone, then you’ll know your letter worked. If it’s not gone, though, you’ll need to reach out again and get a status update. If you still can’t get an answer, it would be a good idea to call the credit companies directly and talk to an actual person.