Each credit bureau has their own unique file on you. Thus, it is important to recognize that a dispute may have to be filed with one credit bureau, but not the next.
In addition, creditors may not report your payment history to all 3 major agencies. This fact is an important part of your credit history, and one you should be aware of before applying for credit.
Credit Bureau Contacts
Here is the name, address and phone number for each of 3 major credit bureaus:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
P.O. Box 949
Allen, TX 75013-0949
- Trans Union
P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0290
After getting copies of your credit reports, remember to do a credit triage to get a handle on what information needs to be addressed.
Removing Negative Information From Your Credit History
Generally speaking, it is best to follow two rules when seeking to remove negative information from you credit report. And it all depends on whether your account is presently reporting as “paid as agreed”.
First, if the account is currently in good standing with the creditor, it is recommended to reach out to them directly with any concerns you have. Many creditors have a “goodwill” gesture that they are willing to extend to loyal customers who may have made a late payment in the past.
Second, if the account is presently NOT in good standing, you shouldn’t expect to see any goodwill gesture from the creditor. Instead, file any disputes directly through the individual credit bureau that is reporting the information.
Minor Reporting Agencies
There are also a number of minor reporting agencies that you should be aware of. These include Avantus, ChoicePoint, CreditIQ, FirstPoint, Innovis, L2C, LexisNexis, MicroBilt and SageStream. And other credit bureaus are coming on the scene all of the time.
Each individual credit bureau will have its own procedures for allowing you to see your file. If you’re strapped for time, focus on the big-3 agencies, and take charge of your credit reports. ♦