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How can I correct errors on my credit report?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to have any incorrect or misleading information removed from your credit report. If an error appears on your credit report, you should contact the credit bureau and request a reinvestigation of the disputed information. If the error is not removed, you have the right to add a 100-word consumer statement to your credit bureau file to explain your side of the story. The three major credit reporting agencies are Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. You can contact these agencies by phone, by mail, or through their websites.

Keep in mind that since mistakes do occur in credit reporting, you should check your credit report once a year as part of your financial planning process. Also, the more common your name is (e.g., John Smith), the more likely you are to have someone else's information added to your report.