credit & debt

Fix the Mistake in Your Credit History

1. Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. If you've already received your free report for the year, order a new version of the report from each credit bureau: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com.

1. Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus.

If you've already received your free report for the year, order a new version of the report from each credit bureau: www.equifax.com, www.experian.com and www.transunion.com. It's important to order a copy of your report directly from each bureau because you'll need the credit-report number in order to lodge a complaint if you find a mistake.

2. File a dispute with the credit bureau online. That's the fastest way to get a resolution, but you can call the bureau directly if it has listed a toll-free number at the bottom of your report.

3. Wait a while. The credit bureau will contact the lender to verify your information. The lender generally has up to 30 days to respond, but you might hear back much sooner. The credit bureau can keep you updated online.

4. Be prepared to dispute the information with the lender that reported it. The lender may need to change its records before the credit bureau can change your report.

NEXT: Get Your Three Credit Scores

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