You have credit reports beyond the big three

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 Q. I have good credit on my reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, but I was just declined an apartment rental because of a credit report problem. I got a copy of the report and I’ve never heard of the company. What rights do I have to dispute the many mistakes I see?

A. We’re glad you’re checking your reports.

All consumers can check their credit reports from the three major bureaus once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com.

But there are also plenty of smaller credit reporting companies. Many of these are used by employers or landlords, so it’s no surprise you haven’t heard of it before. These companies also often perform criminal background checks.

You have the same protections as you would with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

It’s a strong federal law: The Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The law requires both credit reporting agencies to investigate when consumers dispute items on their credit reports that they believe are inaccurate or incomplete, said Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education for Credit.com.

“Investigations must be resolved within 30 days in most cases,” she said.

Detweiler recommends you file a dispute with the credit reporting agency — that information should be on the paperwork you received, or you can probably find it on the agency’s web site.

Then make sure you keep a record of your dispute.

“If the wrong information is not removed, he or she can contact the furnisher(s)–the company supplying the wrong information or get the CFPB and/or a consumer law attorney involved,” Detweiler said.

She also notes that if corrections are made, you have the right to ask the credit reporting agency to supply the corrected information to anyone who received the wrong information in the last six months.

Good luck with your fix.

Email your questions to moc.p1597442606leHye1597442606noMJN1597442606@ksA1597442606.

This story was first posted in June 2015.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.