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Resolve Credit Reporting Errors

Credit reports may contain incomplete or inaccurate information. For example, if someone has the same name as yours, his or her credit information may mistakenly be included in your report. If that person did not repay an auto loan and it mistakenly is placed on your credit report, it can negatively affect your ability to get a loan, even though it is an error. It’s up to you to alert the credit agencies and get the errors fixed.

If you find an error in your credit report, react immediately and follow these steps:

  • Using certified or registered mail, send the credit-reporting agency a dispute letter detailing the information you think is inaccurate. Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position and prove your identity. In addition to providing your complete name and address, your letter should clearly identify each item you dispute, state the facts, explain why you dispute the information and request deletion or correction.

  • Credit-reporting agencies must investigate the disputed information within 30 days and provide you with a response within a reasonable amount of time (35 days is typical). If you do not receive a response by then, you can send another letter, referencing your first letter (consider also including a copy of the first letter).

  • When the investigation is complete, the credit-reporting agency must give you the written results and a free copy of the revised report if a change has been made. However, be aware that if the creditor provides further documentation that the information reported was correct, the information may reappear on your credit report.

  • If an investigation doesn’t find an error, but you still believe your credit report is inaccurate, you can contact the creditor directly and try to resolve the problem.

  • You also have a right to explain your side of the story on the credit report if the issue remains unresolved. This is called a consumer statement. To do this, you may write up to 100 words to explain the situation. The statement will be added to your report. However, you need to be cautious about adding too many consumer statements, as lenders may view this negatively.

  • Positive information on your credit history will help your score and help lenders make an informed decision on whether or not to lend you money. If some of your positive credit history does not appear on one or more of your credit reports, you can request to have it added. Contact the three agencies with a request to add the positive information to your file, and they will verify it with your creditor.

  • If you don’t receive a response from the reporting agency after writing and phoning them several times, notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and/or your state Attorney General’s office in writing, sent by registered mail so you can prove you sent them the letter.

If you believe Columbia Bank has incorrectly reported information to the credit bureau about your account, please send the following information to help resolve the error:

  • Name, address and telephone number

  • Sufficient information to identify the account such as an account number

  • Specific information that you are disputing and an explanation of the basis for the dispute

  • Any supporting documentation or other information you can provide such as a copy of the consumer report that contains the allegedly inaccurate information, a police report, a fraud or identity theft affidavit, a court order or account statements.

Please mail or fax all of the above supporting documentation to:

Columbia Bank
Attn: Consumer Services Department
PO Box 2156 MS 6920
Tacoma, WA 98401

Fax: 1-253-272-1420

You may also contact the Consumer Services Department directly by phone at

  • Equifax

    PO Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374

    To order your report, call 1-866-349-5191

    To report fraud, call 1-800-525-6285

  • Experian

    PO Box 9530, Allen, TX 75013

    Most things are accessible online.

    To order your report, call 1-888-397-3742
    To report fraud, call 1-888-397-3742

  • TransUnion

    PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016

    To order your report, call 1-877-322-8228

    To report fraud, call 1-833-395-6938

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