How To Dispute Experian (And Win)

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If they don't, it's a violation of the FCRA & you could be entitled to compensation

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Experian is one of three major credit bureaus in the USA. Experian can be used to run your credit history.

 Experian reports look at:

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

A high score signals a person has a stronger history of debt repayment and would be a lower risk to a lender. A lower score indicates issues with past payment history, carrying too much debt, defaulting on a loan, or other problems.

However, what happens when something that does not belong on your credit report ends up on it? This can negatively affect your score. This is why any time you see an error on your Experian report, it is important to dispute it.

Understanding Your Experian Report

To be able to identify errors in your Experian report, you first need to understand the contents:

  1. Credit inquiries 
  2. Account information, including the credit limit or total amount of the loan.
  3. Your personal information, like 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 Experian Report

As you go through the contents of the report, you’ll want to focus on 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 that are past the reporting timeline.

How To Dispute Your Experian Credit Report

It’s crucial that you dispute any errors you find. You can dispute by: 

  1. Mail 
  2. Online
  3. Phone 

When possible, it’s best to file a dispute by mail, to have a paper trail of your efforts.

You should also notify the creditor as they may be able to fix the error on their end. 

Dispute Your Experian Report by Mail

Make sure you outline what the error is + why you’re filling the dispute. Include the following in your letter:

  1. Your full name 
  2. Current address and date of birth
  3. Your social security number
  4. The name of the company that reported the inaccurate information to Experian
  5. The account number of the item being disputed
  6. Your reason for filing the dispute 

Experian also will request:

  1. Any addresses you’ve lived at over the past two years
  2. A copy of a utility bill
  3. Bank or insurance statement
  4. A copy of your credit report 
  5. A copy of a government-issued ID alongside your dispute.

The dispute letter should be sent to:

Experian
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

You should send your dispute letter by certified mail, that way you can track it to ensure its arrival.

Dispute Your Experian Report Online

You will need to make an account on their website. After that, take the following steps:

  1. Log onto your Experian account
  2. On the dashboard, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and select “Dispute Center”.
  3. Click the button that says, “File a New Dispute”. A page that contains your personal information, accounts, and public records will appear for your review.
  4. Next to the item or account in question, select “Dispute”.
  5. A drop-down menu will appear where you need to select a reason for your dispute. Select your reason and click next.
  6. After clicking “Next”, you will be able to add a comment if you choose.
  7. Review your dispute carefully and press “Submit”.

Dispute Your Experian Report by Phone

To file by phone, follow these steps:

  1. Request a copy of your credit report either online or by phone
  2. Once you have your credit report in hand, call the number listed on the report to submit a dispute.
  3. The agent you speak with on the phone will tell you how to submit a copy of your annotated credit report (and any supporting documents you have).

What happens after you’ve filed the dispute?

From the day it’s filed, Experian 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 Experian refuses, or is unable to respond, then they must remove the information from your credit report. You should receive a letter from Experian detailing the outcome.

If you filed online, you could check the status of your dispute anytime. Visit the online dispute center to see any updates regarding your Experian 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. You will see a positive change in your credit score if anything.

Depending on the kind of error you have removed, your credit score could jump significantly. For example, if a large loan was taken out in your name in error, once corrected your credit score will jump up.

However, during your dispute 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, Experian will not include that account as part of your credit report, in the case it happens to be pulled.

You may end up seeing a significant jump in your credit score because that balance and any associated late payments aren’t contributing to your score during the dispute. After the dispute is over, the credit bureau will lift the XB code. Once lifted, the account will be included and will reflect any changes made based on the result of the dispute.

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 Experian as soon as possible. By reviewing reports regularly and disputing errors you can protect yourself and your hard-earned credit.

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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.