Your credit record influences your several factors in your life including:
- chance of employment
- ability to rent or buy a place to live
- insurance coverage
Credit bureaus sell the information in your report to businesses that use it to decide whether:
- To give you credit
- To loan you money
- To offer you insurance
- To rent you a home
- To supply employers that use credit reports in hiring decisions
It is essential that the information in your report is both accurate and complete.
Check your credit information regularly by ordering a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year.
Credit Report Dispute Process
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates that all information about your financial transactions submitted to, and recorded by credit bureaus must be true and comprehensive.
If you find an error on your credit report, you can file a notice of dispute for free with Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax online, by phone, or by mail.
Their contact details are:
- Online: Log in, or open a new myEquifax account to submit and/or monitor a dispute.
- Phone: Call 866-349-5191 (8am to midnight, Eastern Time, every day)
- Mail: Equifax Information Services LLC, PO Box 740256, Atlanta, GA30374-0256
- Online: Log in, or open a new TransUnion account to submit and/or monitor a dispute.
- Phone: Call 833-395-6941 (8am to 11pm Eastern Time Monday to Friday)
- Mail: TransUnion Consumer Solutions, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000
- Online: Log in, or open a new Experian account to submit and/or monitor a dispute.
- Phone: Call the number on your Experian credit report
- Mail: Download, print, complete and mail this dispute form to Experian, PO Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013
The simplest and most efficient way to file a credit dispute with the bureaus is online. However, take screenshots or save a copy of your submission so that if your dispute fails, you have evidence of your submission to support any legal action.
Ensure you follow the specified process for each credit bureau.
It can be tricky to navigate the legislation, so use our FREE case review to help guide you through the process.
Prepare To Dispute The Error
The dispute process must be initiated through the credit bureau responsible for compiling your credit report and the data furnisher (the company that provided the information).
Have copies of the following documentation to support your dispute:
- Identity documents containing your name and address (e.g., driver’s license)
- Current bank statements
- Canceled checks.
- Student loan disability letters (if applicable)
- Court documents (bankruptcy schedule)
- Relief program agreements
- Proof that an account was the result of identity theft.
- Correction letters from a lender.
What Can You Dispute In Your Credit Report?
The most common errors that appear in credit reports include:
• Personal information like your name, addresses, Social Security number, or date of birth.
• Account information could be inaccurate or incomplete. A credit report could reflect your accounts in arrears even though they are paid up, or payments are up to date.
• Mixed credit files occur when another person’s information is reported on your credit record. For instance, the account information of a person who shares your Surname is included in your report.
• Duplicate reporting like if a debt is listed twice.
• Fraud or identity theft could create accounts and outstanding balances that you don’t recognize.
Whether you contact a creditor or the credit bureaus, provide all the evidence and documents to support your dispute. Give details about why you believe the information in the credit report is inaccurate or incomplete.
What Happens After You Dispute Information On Your Credit Report?
Credit bureaus must investigate all disputes they receive. They forward all relevant information together with your dispute to the furnisher for a response. The Credit bureaus must give you feedback, unless they can demonstrate your claim is frivolous.
If the furnisher corrects your information, it must notify all the credit bureaus of the corrections for them to update your information.
You can generally expect feedback within 30 days, but this can extend to 45 days if you have more information to submit. Any corrections should be updated on your profile within 30 days.
A credit bureau must report the outcome of its investigation to you within 5 business days after completing it. The credit bureau could decide to:
- Make no change to your credit report.
- Update your credit report
- Delete information from your credit report.
What To Do If You Disagree With The Outcome Of Your Disputes
If you don’t agree with the results of your dispute; ask for copies of all the information that was considered to make the decision, and escalate the dispute if necessary. You can also:
- Contact the creditor directly
- Submit a new dispute that includes more information
- Add a statement of dispute to your credit profile
- Lodge a complaint against the credit bureau
- Complain to your state consumer protection agency
- Contact your congressional representative or senator, or
- File a lawsuit against the credit bureau
A bad credit report can negatively impact your life. Make sure you order and check your report from each of the big three credit bureaus. If a credit bureau rejects or fails to respond to your dispute, you have options available to you.
If errors on your credit report are causing havoc in your life, and you are struggling to get them resolved: consult a lawyer to discuss possible legal action.