If you believe there is information on your credit report that is outdated, incorrect, or incomplete, you have the right to request a correction under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
How long can negative information stay on your credit report? In general, it can remain for up to seven years and a bankruptcy can remain for ten years. (There are some exceptions to these limits.)
If there is an error or omission that you would like corrected, start by contacting both the credit reporting agency and the creditor that provided the information, in writing. Include copies of documents that support your position.
Also, send a copy of your credit report, with the items you dispute clearly marked. State the facts, the reason for the dispute, and the action you are requesting (deletion or correction). Send the letters by certified mail and keep copies.
Correcting An Error on Your Credit Report
The credit reporting agency must reinvestigate the items in question within 30 days, and send you the written results and a free copy of your credit report. You can request that the agency send a copy of the changed report to anyone who has received your credit report within the past six months.
Even if the reinvestigation does not resolve the issue, you can ask the credit reporting agency in writing to include a copy of your dispute in your credit file.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to one free credit report each year. This is an effort by the federal government to encourage consumers to stay on top of their credit information. Request yours by visiting annualcreditreport.com.