How Can I Change or Protest a Credit Score?

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    • 1). Order a free copy of your credit report. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) gives you the right to order one free credit report each year from the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Order the report from the FACTA site, annualcreditreport.com, or at the bureau's website. You can also order your report by phone or mail.

    • 2). Check the report for errors. Look in the "Accounts" section to make sure all the details of your accounts are listed correctly. Read the "Personal Information" section and check for unfamiliar addresses and aliases. This could indicate identity theft.

    • 3). File a dispute with the credit bureau. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires credit bureaus to include only accurate data on a credit report. You can file your dispute using the online form found at the bureau's website. You can also file a dispute by phone with a customer service representative or by mail. Mailed disputes should include a dispute letter listing the items in dispute, the reasons for the dispute and include any supporting documents, if applicable.

    • 4). Print your dispute form if you filed the dispute online at the bureau's site. Also print out your credit report. Remember, FACTA gives you one free credit report from each bureau; however, if you access it online then fail to print it, the bureau may charge you a fee to view it again at a later date.

    • 5). Wait for 30 days to receive a response. The FCRA gives bureaus this much time to investigate your dispute and make corrections. Results for disputes submitted online are sent out via email. If you filed your dispute by mail or phone, the bureau will mail the results to you by regular first class mail. Along with the results, the bureau will include an updated copy of your credit report that shows the corrections that were made.

    • 6). Purchase your FICO credit score from myfico.com once errors on your report have been corrected to check how much your score has improved. Keep in mind that FACTA gives consumers a free credit report but not a free credit score.

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