Question: How do you submit a request to a credit bureau to remove derogatory information from your credit report?
Answer: First of all, you need to get a copy of your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report-- that's one from each of the three credit bureaus--every year. These free copies can be obtained only from annualcreditreport.com. However, you are also entitled to obtain a free copy of your report if you've been turned down for credit. Otherwise, the only alternative is to subscribe to a fee-based credit report service.
If you are accessing your free report from annualcreditreport.com, I recommend you print a copy of the report from the website because once you leave that site, your free credit report will be gone for a full year. It can be a bit lengthy, so be prepared. But it is definitely worth printing out as you will have a reference copy that you can take your time with and check for accuracy.
The report has an address where you can request corrections. Reference the area or line item that you are trying to correct. Be sure to check the accuracy of names and address, as well as account information. Take your time as any inaccuracies can cost you valuable points on your credit score. If needed, you may have to supply documented evidence to challenge an item. By law you are entitled to challenge anything in that report and receive a response to your inquiry within thirty days. If your challenge is not approved, you have the right to re-challenge. Just make certain your evidence is solid.
Foe more information, check out our article on disputing errors on your credit report.