As a rule, you should request for a copy of your credit report every year.
Once you have it, read through it carefully and check for any incorrect and out-of-date information. Go through details such as your name, address, phone number, Social Security number, and birth date. These should be completely and accurately reflected.
Next, check account histories such as payments. Note for errors such as late payments if in fact you paid on time. Also, accounts that you have closed should be listed as such and tagged “closed by consumer.” Information that are out of date such as late payments, accounts handled by collection agencies, and lawsuits should not appear in your credit report if they are more than seven years old.
What to do
In the event that your credit report lists incorrect student loan information, you should immediately write a dispute letter and send it to the credit bureau or credit reporting agency that have listed the said information. Your letter should accurately explain the error and why it is being disputed.
Attach supporting documents such as copies of bills, payment receipts, or certificates of full payment. If the dispute concerns identity theft, a copy of the police report that you filed should also be included. Send the letter via registered mail so you can track the progress of your dispute. You should also write a letter to the financial institution, creditor, or collection agency that reported the disputed information.
The credit bureau is required to review the information, inform the concerned lender, complete the investigation, and inform you of the results within thirty days. If the investigation is decided to your favor, the bank or creditor concerned must submit the corrected information. Incorrect information must then be removed or modified in your credit report.
In case the credit bureau’s investigation disagrees with your dispute, you should contact the credit bureau right away to discuss the results.
One step further
If they still won’t make the necessary adjustments, call the creditor so that they will be the ones to request the credit bureau to remove the incorrect information. For faster results, write directly to the Customer Service Department Head, Collection Department Head, or the President or CEO. Or, address the letter to customer service and copy all the rest. Again, don’t forget to enclose the supporting documents.
The banks or creditors are required by law to amend incorrect information when it is proved that it is incorrect.