Skip to content

Credit report errors

How to dispute errors on your credit report

Ella Jukwey
Written by  Ella Jukwey
Jonathan Leggett
Reviewed by  Jonathan Leggett
5 min read
Updated: 21 Mar 2024

Are there mistakes on your credit report? Our guide takes you through the process of disputing errors on your credit file….

What is a credit report? 

A credit report is a summary of your credit activity. Your credit report will show your payment history, credit limits and the credit accounts you’ve had. Information in your credit file is usually supplied by your lenders to three main credit rating agencies (CRAs): TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. It’s important to remember that information on your credit report might differ depending on which CRA you use. This is because not all creditors report information to the three credit reference agencies.  You can check your credit report for free with our Credit Monitor service. 

credit

What are the common types of errors found on credit reports? 

  • Wrong person’s details: Your credit report could have another person’s credit history; this is more likely if you have matching details, such as the same name. 

  • Out-of-date information: Your credit report might have closed credit accounts incorrectly labelled as still open, or an address where you no longer live 

  • Missed payments: Sometimes it might be recorded incorrectly that you missed a payment. 

  • Inconsistencies: Credit-report mistakes can happen when there’s wrong information, such as name misspellings and wrong addresses.   

  • Duplicates: Your credit file might have the same debt reported twice, which can paint an inaccurate picture of your finances and hurt your credit score. 

  • Legal judgments: If you’ve satisfied a CCJ for example, it could still be incorrectly listed on your credit report even though you’ve paid it off and applied to have it removed. 

Why is it important to dispute credit report errors? 

It’s vital you get inaccurate information on your credit report removed for the following reasons: 

Damages your credit score: False information on your credit report can negatively impact your credit rating. A low credit score will make it harder to approved for credit products, like credit cards and loans. Even if you are approved for credit, you will not be offered the best interest rates which will make it even more expensive to borrow. 

Rejected for credit: Mistakes on your credit file that drag down your credit rating can result in you failing a credit check. You’ll undergo a credit check whenever you apply for credit and your credit score is a key factor to whether you’re approved. 

Identity theft and fraud: Errors on your credit report can also be a sign of identity theft or fraud. If your credit report contains transactions, you didn’t make and unfamiliar addresses, this could mean someone is fraudulently taking out credit in your name. It’s crucial you rectify this as soon as possible, so you can protect your personal and financial details. 

How do I identify errors on my credit report?  

The way your credit report will be formatted will depend on the CRA you’ve used to check it. However, take your time to look at the information listed. If anything sticks out to you as untrue, then make a note of it. 

What is the process for submitting a dispute?  

The process for submitting a dispute will vary depending on the CRA you use: 

TransUnion: You have to raise a Notice of Dispute (NOD) if you find an error on your TransUnion credit report. A NOD can be raised on their website with the ‘Raise a dispute’ button, by email or writing directly to their address. 

Experian: You need to contact Experian directly to let them know if there are any issues on your credit report. Experian will then raise the disputed entry with the lender.  

Equifax: You have to create an account for Equifax’s online helpline to raise a dispute. You can also query via post to their address.  

What information should I include in my credit report dispute?   

  • Full name 

  • Date of birth 

  • Contact information 

  • Credit report reference number (if applicable) 

  • Clear and detailed description of each error 

  • Reason why you’re making the dispute 

  • A request to remove the error 

How long will it take for them to review my dispute?  

The time it’ll take for your dispute to be reviewed will depend on who is reviewing it; however, disputes can take up to 45 days to process. It’s essential that you include the relevant information because if you don’t, this can prolong this process. 

How will I be notified of the outcome of the credit dispute?  

This will depend on the company who is handling the dispute, but you may be contacted by email, phone, or post. If you’ve made an online account to raise the dispute, you may be able to monitor the status of your complaint through your account. 

What should I do if I am not happy with the outcome?  

Here are some options you can consider: 

  • Notice of Correction: You can add a Notice of Correction to your credit report. This is a brief statement you can use to provide context to an entry on your credit report. You can use this to explain why you’ve missed payments, for example if you lost your job. This will be visible to lenders, and they can take this into consideration when you apply for credit. 

  • Dispute with the company: You can also dispute directly with the company who has reported the information you disagree with. 

  • Information Commissioner’s office: After exhausting all your options, you can make a complaint with the ICO 

Other useful guides

Nurture your credit score with Credit Monitor

You can check your score and credit report for free as often as you like with Credit Monitor.

Watch your credit score grow and get alerts if there is any suspicious looking activity on your file – so you can avoid being the victim of fraud.

You’ll also receive regular updates and free tips and advice on how to keep improving your score.

Take control of your credit score with Credit Monitor
Check my score for free