One of the biggest signs of identity theft is errors on your credit report. And even if it isn’t identity theft, these seemingly small mistakes can actually lead to serious consequences down the line.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to file a credit report dispute with Equifax. We’ll teach you what errors you should look out for and what they can cost you if left unresolved.
We reviewed official Equifax sources to understand its processes when it comes to disputes. We also read feedback and stories of people who went through the process and gathered the best tips.
The last thing you want is to leave an incorrect entry on your credit report and have a credit score that can negatively affect your life. Keep reading until the end to find out our top tip when it comes to filing credit report disputes.
How do you dispute your Equifax credit report?
If you find a mistake on your Equifax credit report, you’ll need to follow a specific process to get it corrected. Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Check your credit reports with all three nationwide credit bureaus
If you do see a mistake on your Equifax credit report, it helps to check if the same mistake appears on your other credit reports as well.
Take note that you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus – Experian and TransUnion included – once a year. You can access this by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.
Equifax, however, gives you the option to receive a free copy of your credit report six times a year if you enroll in Equifax Core Credit. You can do this after you create a personal online account with the bureau.
2. Talk to your financial institutions
If the same error appears on your other credit reports, then the problem may be with your financial institutions. Contacting them to report inaccurate information may be a faster way to resolve the issue.
In many cases, they’ll be able to correct the error quickly and send an updated report to the credit bureaus. If you’re unable to resolve the issue with the creditor, or if the problem isn’t on their end, then you can proceed to file a dispute with Equifax.
3. File your dispute
You have three options when it comes to filing your credit report dispute with Equifax. You can either do it online, through the mail, or over the phone.
Dispute your Equifax credit report online
- Visit the Equifax website and click on “Log In” in the top right corner. Under Personal Credit Customers, look for the myEquifax tab and click on “Log in” again.
- You should now be redirected to the myEquifax page. Enter your login credentials or if you don’t have an account yet, click on “Register Now” and complete the signup process.
- Once you’re logged in, go to the “Credit Report” tab and click on “Request a credit report.”
- Review your report carefully and if you see any errors, select the ones you want to dispute by clicking on the checkbox next to it. Click on “Next” when you’re done selecting the items you want to dispute.
- On the next page, Equifax will ask why you’re disputing the information. Be as specific as possible. You can also upload any documents that support your case by clicking on the “Upload Documents” button.
- When you’re done, click on “Submit” to file your dispute.
Dispute your Equifax credit report through mail
- Prepare the documents you need as detailed on the Equifax page. These will vary depending on the information you’re disputing.
- Download and fill out the Equifax Dispute Request Form.
- Send your request form and the supporting documents to the address below:
Equifax Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
Dispute your Equifax credit report over the phone
- Gather any documentation that supports your claims of error, such as receipts or canceled checks. Make a list of all the items you’ll be disputing as well.
- Call Equifax at (866) 349-5191 and ask to speak to a customer service representative.
- Explain that you'd like to dispute an error on your credit report. The representative will likely ask for some basic information, such as your name, address and Social Security number.
- Once they've verified your identity, they'll pull up your credit report and begin the dispute process. Be prepared to provide specific details about the error, such as where on the report it appears and why you believe it's incorrect. The representative will also likely ask for copies of any supporting documentation.
- Once they have all the necessary information, they'll investigate your claim and make any necessary corrections to your credit report.
REMEMBER: When it comes to your credit score, you can never be too careful. Take advantage of Equifax’s six free credit reports every year by signing up for a myEquifax account.
This simple step should help you monitor your credit report more closely and more frequently. It should help you get rid of any errors you see on it immediately and prevent any damages to your credit score in the long run.
What should you expect after filing your dispute?
Once you’ve filed your dispute, you should receive a confirmation letter from Equifax within five business days of them receiving your dispute. This letter will include a case number that you can use to track the status of your dispute.
Next, Equifax will reach out to the creditor in question and ask them to verify the information on your report. The creditor has 30 days to respond.
If the creditor doesn’t respond, or if they confirm that the information on your report is incorrect, Equifax will make the necessary changes to your credit report and notify you of the results.
If, however, the creditor does respond and disputes your claim, the information on your credit report will remain unchanged.
What errors should you watch out for in your credit report?
There are a few different types of errors that can show up on your credit report. Here are some of the most common:
- Incorrect personal information – This includes your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth.
- Incorrect account information – This refers to any information that’s incorrect about your credit accounts, such as the balance, payment history, or account type.
- Incorrect inquiries – Inquiries are when someone – usually a lender – requests your credit report to decide if they should lend you money. If there are inquiries on your report that you didn’t authorize, that could be an error.
- Duplicate accounts – If you see the same account listed more than once on your credit report, that’s an error.
- Incorrect public records – Public records include things like bankruptcies, foreclosures, and tax liens. If any of these items are reported incorrectly on your credit report, then that also counts as an error
If you find any of these errors on your credit report, be sure to dispute them with Equifax so they can be corrected.
How much do these credit report errors cost?
While it’s hard to put a price tag on the cost of credit report errors, we do know that they can have a major impact on your finances.
For example, if you’re trying to get a mortgage or get a car loan and there are errors on your credit report, that could lead to financial institutions denying your loan or charging you a higher interest rate.
And even if you’re not trying to get a loan, errors on your credit report can still cost you money. That’s because your credit score is used to determine things like whether you qualify for a rental apartment or how much you pay for car insurance.
Some employers even factor your credit score into their decision to hire you. Bad credit scores may indicate that you aren’t responsible for your finances and may cause you to lose the opportunity to land your dream job.
In short, errors in your credit report can cost you money in a variety of ways. That’s why it’s so important to dispute them as soon as you find them.
If you find an error on your credit report, don’t panic. You can dispute it with Equifax, and as long as you have evidence to back up your claim, there’s a good chance the mistake will be corrected.
Be sure to follow the steps outlined in this article so you can get it fixed and avoid any costly financial consequences.