When you want to access your free credit reports from all three major credit bureaus, you can go to a single website: Use AnnualCreditReport.com to request one of each every 12 months.
But if you find an error in any of your reports — for example, an incorrect account number or a payment mistakenly marked late — you need to deal individually with the bureau that issued it.
Each credit bureau assembles your report from information sent to it by lenders, credit card issuers, public agencies and sometimes landlords. Errors in reporting can shave points off your credit scores, so it’s worth your time to clean them up.
You can also dispute errors in your TransUnion report online, by mail or by phone. However, TransUnion warns against disputing the same item through multiple channels, saying it’s likely to slow down an investigation, not speed it up.
What should I look for in my TransUnion credit report?
Monitoring your own credit can help ensure your information is accurate and up to date. It also can alert you to fraudulent activity, so you can act quickly to protect yourself.
Review the six main sections of your report:
- Personal identifying information (name, birthdate, Social Security number, etc.)
- Account information
- Public records, such as bankruptcies and unpaid tax liens
- Inquiries (when someone checked your credit)
- Consumer statements, if you’ve ever submitted one
A TransUnion spokesperson says the inquiry and account information sections are crucial, because that’s typically where indications of fraudulent activity or identity theft show up. An address you don’t recognize can also be a tipoff that someone is opening accounts in your name but diverting the card to a different address.
Other mistakes might just be human error: transposed numbers in an account, records belonging to someone with a similar name, a misspelling.
Note that most negative marks fall off your credit reports after seven years. If something too old to be reported still shows up, you can dispute that as well.
If you see mistakes, gather documentation supporting your case and file a dispute with TransUnion. The bureau has 30 business days to respond.
How to dispute your TransUnion report online
The vast majority of consumers, 75%, go online to file a dispute.
The online dispute form looks like this:
You might already have a TransUnion account, for instance if you’ve previously frozen your credit or set up a fraud alert. If not, you’ll need to create an account and set a password.
Once you’re signed in, you’ll see your credit report with links to jump to particular sections.
Below the data reported, there are arrows pointing out links to actions such as “Request updates,” “Add employer” or “Request an investigation.” Click on whichever is appropriate and follow the instructions.
Once you’ve marked everything you want updated or investigated, click the “Continue” button and review the “investigation summary” page. You’ll have an opportunity to upload any supporting documents. Finish filing your dispute by clicking “Submit.”
TransUnion will respond by email; you can also sign back into your account to check the progress of the dispute.
How to dispute your TransUnion report by mail
You can send disputes by mail to TransUnion LLC, Consumer Dispute Center, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016.
TransUnion recommends including the following in your dispute letter:
- The file number from your TransUnion credit report
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
- Your current address
- The company name associated with the disputed item
- The account number associated with the disputed item
- The reason for your dispute: It’s not your account, you’ve paid the account, etc.
- Corrections to personal information
In your letter, explain which item(s) you think are incorrect and why. If you’re disputing an account, include the account number. Send copies — not originals — of supporting documents. The bureau will respond by mail.
How to dispute your TransUnion credit report by phone
You can dispute by phone at 800-916-8800. Customer service representatives are available weekdays, except major holidays, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern.
Have a copy of your TransUnion credit report handy before calling this number; the representative will need the file number. The representative will tell you how to send supporting documents, if necessary. The bureau may respond by email and mail.
What happens next?
If TransUnion agrees with you, it will change the information in question on your credit report. It’s smart to check your report again to make sure the changes were made. Your response from the bureau will contain a link to the corrected report, or it will mail you a corrected copy.
However, if TransUnion confirms that it’s reporting the information given to it correctly, you might need to talk with the creditor or other source that’s sending in the data. Ask it to correct the information it’s reporting to TransUnion.
Next, get in the habit of checking your credit report frequently to keep up with new data. In between your free annual copies from AnnualCreditReport.com, you can check your TransUnion credit report at NerdWallet as often as you like. Regularly monitoring your free report can give you an early warning of potentially score-damaging problems.