Problems with Credit Report FAQ
How can I get a copy of my credit report?
You can obtain your credit report at: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
How much does a copy cost?
The “Big 3” credit reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) are required to give you a free copy of your credit report every year. In some states, you can get more than one.
You can also get a free copy under certain circumstances, such as a denial of credit.
Are there other credit reporting agencies?
There are dozens of smaller or “specialty” credit reporting agencies such as those who report on checking accounts, rent payments, and other things. They are also required to give you a copy of your report.
Generally speaking you will need to contact the smaller credit reporting agencies directly, by telephone or via their website, in order to obtain your credit report. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau maintains a list of consumer reporting agencies on it’s website: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201501_cfpb_list-consumer-reporting-agencies.pdf
If I find an error on my credit report, what should I do?
Inform the credit reporting agency of the mistake, making what is called a “dispute” or “reinvestigation request.” You can contact the Big 3 credit reporting agencies by internet, telephone or U.S. mail. Here is the website contact information to make a dispute with the Big 3:
Equifax – https://www.ai.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation/home.action
TransUnion – http://www.transunion.com/dispute
Experian – http://www.experian.com/disputes/main.html
KEEP A COPY OF EVERYTHING.
Is there anyone else I should notify about the error?
Yes you should also notify the bank, lender, etc. who provided the inaccurate information to the credit reporting agency.
Once I’ve disputed an error on my credit report, how soon can I expect it to be corrected?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit reporting agencies are required to correct or delete inaccurate or incomplete information from your credit report within 30 days after you have notified them of the error.
How can I check to make sure that the error on my credit report is corrected?
After you’ve disputed the information in your credit report, the credit reporting agencies are required to provide you with another free copy of your credit report showing that the inaccurate information has been corrected or deleted.
What is the “next step” if the credit reporting agency fails or refuses to correct the error?
You have the right to sue the credit reporting agencies that have violated your rights. You may also be able to sue the bank or the other furnisher of information to the agency.
How much can I expect to recover in a lawsuit against a credit reporting agency?
That depends on the amount of damages you have suffered. Generally speaking, consumers who have been injured by credit reporting agencies can recover money damages for the harm they’ve suffered, their out of pocket costs, and their attorneys’ fees. Consumers are also entitled to recover punitive damages under certain circumstances.
What kind of harm can I sue for?
“Harm” under Fair Credit Reporting Act can include monetary loss and other losses from being denied credit; emotional distress, aggravation, and inconvenience; and injury to your reputation.
Can the credit reporting agency be forced to pay my attorneys’ fees?
Yes. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit reporting agencies can be forced to pay consumer’s legal fees, and they often do so as part of settlement agreements.
I just want to have an initial consultation with a lawyer to find out if I have a case and what my rights are. Do you charge for that?
We do not charge for consultations on FCRA cases and handle almost all FCRA matters on contingent fee basis. You won’t pay us fees unless we recover money for you.