Ask The Experts: What to Do When You Catch an Error in Your Credit

Q. I'd like to say first, thanks for the show. I think it is a great program and I hope people learn from it. My question relates to my credit and score. Last year my score was 750 and this year it has dropped to 678. I checked my credit and found out that an account was reported overdue, erroneously. What should i do to make sure that this is taken care of? - Ousman, MO

Step One Ousman is to contact BOTH the lender and the credit reporting agencies to challenge the incorrect information. If you have a copy of the cancelled check with a date that clearly shows that it was not late then that will help. Federal law requires that credit reporting agencies to investigate the information and ensure that what they have on file is accurate. They have 30-45 days to correct their errors, assuming it was an error. Once they complete their investigation they will send you an updated copy of the credit report. Keep copies of all of your correspondence with all parties.

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John Ulzheimer is a nationally recognized credit expert, president of Consumer Education for and contributor to On The Money. Learn more about him at