Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit bureaus have 30 to 45 days to investigate a disputed claim. If they can’t verify it within that time, they must remove the entry. For example, if you file a dispute with a credit bureau over a late payment and your creditor can’t verify the information, the bureau must remove that late payment from your credit report. For payments less than 90 days late, you can request a goodwill adjustment from your creditor and set up payments to prevent further damage to your credit history.
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If you find information that is incorrect, you can file a dispute. Remember too, that items on your credit report that you don't recognize could also be potential signs of fraudulent activity — someone working to secure credit in your name for their own use. Make sure you're clear on items that could potentially be fraudulent, versus those that may simply be inaccurate.