Step 3: Correct the Easy Stuff

If you’re anything like most of us, you’ll notice some egregious errors in the section of your credit report called “Personal Info”. This is where your credit report lists your name, social security number, current and former employers, and current and former addresses. Somehow, it’s difficult for the credit reporting agencies to get your name correct, let alone your employers and addresses.

Ideally, you want to get that report to show your correct name, correct social security number, and your correct current address and nothing else.

There’s some dispute about the best way to go about that. Here’s the plan of attack I’ve decided to follow. I visited my local friendly DMV and got a copy of my driver’s license showing my current address. Yes, it cost me about $20, and no, you don’t have to get a new driver’s license when you move in California. You just have to report your change of address to the DMV. But having a driver’s license with my current address allows me to simply make a copy of my driver’s license and use that as proof of my current address. Then I don’t have to mess around with copies of utility bills and other forms of address verification that could get kind of complicated.

I’m sending off a letter to each of the credit reporting agencies that says something along the lines of:

You have addresses on my record that do not belong to me and are incorrect. My name is Credit Report Maven. Please remove all incorrect names immediately. My address is 123 Credit Report Maven Lane, Los Angeles, California. Please remove all incorrect addresses immediately.

I am enclosing a copy of my driver’s license showing my correct name and address. Per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, send me notification that these items have been deleted, as well as an updated copy of my credit report.

As I understand, Experian is the nightmare to deal with here, but Equifax and TransUnion should not be a problem. For these simple personal information disputes, you can use the telephone or online disputes or write letters like I did. For other types of disputes, you should use Certified Mail with Return Receipt.

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