Repairing your credit will put you in a better position to borrow in the future. While it can seem like a bit of a chore, it can pay off big time in the future.

The good news is that when it comes to credit repair, the ball is in your court: consistent, small actions can yield significant rewards. It starts with reviewing your credit report and maintaining good habits — opening the door to correcting any errors and improving your score.

Why is Disputing Errors Important?

No one should be judged by false or inaccurate information about them. By reviewing your credit report and cleaning up any errors, your report — and score — will be at its best when you apply for a loan or other or credit products.

What Kind of Errors Occur on a Credit Report?

There are two types of data on your credit report: personal information (such as name, address, and Social Security number) and account histories.

Errors in personal info: Lenders use your personal information to verify your identity, so correcting any misspellings or other errors will help them process future account applications faster. If there are any discrepancies in your personal information, you may have to provide potential lenders additional documentation to verify your identity — so save yourself time by correcting those issues now.

Errors in account info: Because creditors and lenders use your payment history to determine whether you’re a reliable borrower, it’s crucial that you make sure that you don’t have any payments incorrectly listed as late.

What Types of Errors Should I Dispute?

In short, you should dispute any and all errors you find — such as a late payment when you’ve always paid your bills on time. Any error, even a typo in your name or a past address, can affect your credit. No matter how small or trivial, any information out there that can be misleading about how responsible you are isn’t something you, or lenders, want to see.

I Was Late on Payments or Defaulted in the Past. Can I Take That Off My Credit Report?

If you have a default, late payment, bankruptcy or court judgment, that is older than seven years, you can request that it be removed.  

If you have a default, late payment, bankruptcy or court judgment that is less than seven years old, you will not be able to request that it is removed. However, the good news is that prospective lenders and credit scores value your most recent good behavior over mistakes made in the distant past. A detailed explanation can be found here.

Although a credit dispute is unlikely to remove accurate information, you can contact your lender to see if there is anything that can be done. They are not required to make changes to your account history, but sometimes asking nicely and working with your lenders can make a difference.

Can Credit Bureaus Ignore My Disputes?

No. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the bureaus to respond to disputes within 30 days, so they will not ignore your claims.

What Can I Do if My Dispute is Denied?

If a credit bureau needs supporting documents, such as receipts or payment records, it may ask you for those before it makes a decision about your claim. In the event that it denies your request altogether, you may ask the agency to keep the dispute on file. Then, when you apply for credit in the future, lenders and creditors will be able to see that you contested the information.

You’re in Control

Disputing errors on your credit report lets you take control of your financial future. The more you know about what’s in your file, the more empowered you are to correct potential issues and make smart decisions that help you continue making progress on your credit journey.

The content provided on is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or legal advice.  It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.  Elevate is not acting as a credit counseling or repair service, debt consolidation service, or credit services organization in providing this content.  Elevate makes no representations about the reliability or suitability of the information provided – any action you take based on this content is at your own risk.