If One Credit Bureau Removes an Item, Do the Others Have To?
One of the methods of cleaning your credit report is to dispute an item that you do not believe is valid in order to have the credit bureau remove it from your report. However, there is more than one credit bureau. In fact, there are three: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Unfortunately, not all creditors use all three credit bureaus, and the bureaus do not share the information they have on an individual with each other. What this means — among other things — is that if you get one to remove an item from your report, the others are not required to remove that same item.
You’ll need to go through the dispute process with every credit bureau. Luckily, DoNotPay's Clean Credit Report product helps you to easily dispute items on any of the three credit bureaus' reports.
What to Look For on Your Credit Report
While all three gather their own information and have their own process for disputing items on the report, each bureau's report contains several types of information, including:
- All credit accounts that you have that are in good standing (you are current on payments), which include the date on which the account was opened, your credit limit or loan amount, the account balance, and your payment history.
- Accounts for which you are in negative standing, including which payments have been missed.
- Credit inquiries, are performed when a lender is considering allowing you to open an account or obtain a loan. Your credit report allows you to see both hard inquiries, which occur when you request credit from a lender, as well as soft inquiries, which companies perform when determining whether to offer you a pre-approved line of credit.
- Public records and collections, which include judgments you have against you for failing to pay a debt, any collection actions that have been taken against you, and any bankruptcies that you have filed.
Four Common Inaccuracies That Appear on Credit Reports
Individuals are permitted to obtain one free report from each of the three credit bureaus each year and are encouraged to study these reports to ensure the accuracy of the information that is provided in them. Four common inaccuracies that appear on credit reports include:
- Accounts that are listed but do not belong to the individual who is the subject of the report.
- Negative accounts that list inaccurate information, such as listing that the individual owes more than they do.
- Suspicious or unfamiliar business names appear in the inquiry section, meaning they have performed an inquiry without your knowledge or consent.
- Errors in personally identifiable information appearing on the report, such as a wrong Social Security number or a misspelled name.
How to Dispute an Item on Each of the Three Credit Bureau Reports
If you wish to with each of the three credit bureau reports, you can do so through the bureau's online dispute process, or by mail. You must include personally identifiable information, such as your full name and social security number, as well as the item you wish to dispute, and a specific reason why you want to dispute it.
Mailing addresses for the three credit bureaus are shown in the table below.
|Equifax||PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256.
|Experian||PO Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013.
|TransUnion||Consumer Dispute Center
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016.
Remember, in order to get an item removed from a credit report, you mustdispute it with the specific credit bureaus' report on which it appears. If it appears on multiple reports, you must dispute the entry with the bureau of each one that has this information on their report.
DoNotPay Can Make It Easier to Dispute Items on Your Credit Reports
DoNotPay can help you clean up your credit report by:
- Filing a goodwill removal request letter with your creditor
- Disputing inaccurate information on the credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus
- Submitting a debt validation request with the creditor
- Or mailing a pay-to-delete negotiation letter to the creditor
Best of all, we’ll walk you through the process so you know which method works best for each item on your credit report.
Simply follow these three steps:
- Search Clean Credit Report on DoNotPay.
- Prepare a recent copy of your credit report that you can use as reference.
- Let us guide you through the 4 potential options:
- If you've already paid off your debt, we'll help you file a Goodwill Removal Request to get it removed.
- If you notice any errors in your report (we have a list of common errors you can use!), we'll help you file a credit dispute to the creditor or major credit bureaus.
- If there are no errors, we'll check if you're still eligible to file a debt validation request. If they can't validate your debt, they're required to remove it from your report and they can't collect it!
- Lastly, if none of the above options work, we'll help you file a pay-to-delete negotiation letter. You can customize the amount you are willing to pay in exchange for getting the item removed.
We will send the appropriate letter on your behalf, and you can expect to hear back from the creditor or credit bureau within a few weeks. For more assistance with cleaning your credit report, check out some of our other products, such as Credit Limit Increase, Get My Credit Report, Keep Unused Cards Active, and more.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
Having clean credit is important for many reasons. DoNotPay not only helps clean your credit report, but provides products to help you with a number of other tasks as well. Use it for canceling accounts, paying your bills on time, and appealing financial aid decisions. Try it today.