How to Dispute Equifax (And Win)

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Equifax is one of three major credit bureaus in the USA. Equifax can be used to run your credit history. Equifax reports look at:

  1. Your open lines of credit
  2. Your payment history
  3. Loan history and more.

Your credit score is important. What happens when something that does not belong on your credit report ends up on it? This can negatively affect your score. 

Understanding Your Equifax Report

To be able to identify errors in your Equifax report, first understand what it contains:

  1. Credit inquiries (or screenings) 
  2. Account information, including the credit limit or total amount of the loan.
  3. Your personal information, which includes your employment data, social security number, date of birth, and address. 
  4. Public records and collections, along with bankruptcies, tax liens, suits, foreclosures, and more.

Reviewing Your Equifax Report

To review your Equifax report, keep an eye out for the following:

  1. Accounts you have no knowledge of or did not open.
  2. Incorrect payment history.
  3. Credit inquiries you have no knowledge of and/or did not request.
  4. Errors in names, account information, or credit and loan limits.
  5. Collections and public records.

How To Dispute Your Equifax Credit Report

You can your dispute Equifax report by:

  1. Mail
  2. Online
  3. Or by phone call

Dispute Your Equifax Report by Mail

You will want to write a letter to Equifax clearly outlining what the error is and why you are filing the dispute. Be sure to include the following when writing a dispute letter to Equifax:

  1. Report Confirmation number
  2. Your full name 
  3. Current address and date of birth
  4. Your social security number
  5. The name of the company that reported the inaccurate information to Experian
  6. The account number of the item being disputed
  7. Your reason for filing the dispute 
  8. Any updates to your personal information on file
  9. Hard copy of your annotated credit report

The dispute letter should be sent to:

Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

You should send your dispute letter by certified mail, that way you can verify and track its arrival.

Dispute Your Equifax Report Online

Take the following steps to submit a dispute with Equifax online:

  1. Enter your identifying information on the page that reads “Step 1: Authentication”, then hit “Continue”.
  2. Answer four questions about your credit file to verify your identity 
  3. Click the red box that says “Dispute Item” underneath the item in question
  4. Upload any supporting documentation and click “Continue”
  5. Review the details of the claim and click “Continue” to submit your dispute.

Upon submitting the dispute, be sure to write down the 10-digit number that will appear. This 10-digit number will allow you to see progress on your dispute online.

Dispute Your Equifax Report by Phone

To file by phone:

  1. Call the Equifax dispute phone number: 1-866-349-5191. The hours of operation are Monday- Friday from 8 am to 8 pm (Eastern Standard Time). 
  2. Have your Equifax credit report handy. 

What happens after you’ve filed the dispute?

From the day it’s filed, Equifax has 30 days to:

  1. Review the dispute
  2. Reach out to the creditor or lender
  3. Investigate the claim  
  4. Issue a response

If the creditor or lender who provided the incorrect information to Equifax refuses, or is unable to respond, then they must remove the information from your credit report.

If you filed online, you can check the status of your dispute anytime using the 10-digit number you received. You can log onto Equifax’s website to see any updates on the dispute.

However, sometimes credit bureaus do not follow the rules set out by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you are having a difficult time getting errors removed from your report, it’s time to seek legal counsel.

How does a credit dispute affect your credit score?

A dispute itself will not have any lasting effect on your credit score, except in the case you submit a new dispute note after an unsuccessful attempt. The way you will see a change in your credit report is after the dispute is over and it will be a positive change.

Be aware of the “XB” effect. XB is a credit report code used by credit bureaus to show that a particular account is currently being disputed.

During this time, Equifax will not include that account as part of your credit report, in the case, it happens to be pulled. 

When the dispute is over, the credit bureau will lift the XB code. 

Bottom Line

You should try to check your credit report regularly, scanning for any suspicious or incorrect information. If you do find something that was reported in error, it’s best to dispute it with Equifax as soon as possible. By reviewing reports regularly and disputing errors you can protect your credit health.

Ready to get started?

If you’re a victim of credit reporting/background check errors, or debt collection harassment, it’s time to take a stand. Contact us today & reclaim your financial future.