How To File Disputes With the Credit Bureaus
1. Request your credit report
In order to find any errors or unattractive figures to dispute, you will first need to obtain an updated copy of your credit report from each of the credit reporting bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
There are a few ways you can do this. You are entitled to one free credit report each year which you can order from annualcreditreport.com or you can access your credit score right in the Mint app. Many banks and credit card companies will also allow you to pull your credit report on a monthly basis.
Once you have obtained a recent credit score, you should carefully review the information displayed. Pay particular attention to your address, phone number, and email information listed inaccurate information listed in your contact info could be the beginning stages of a mixed file or an identity theft issue. Is the credit history correct? What about your credit balance? Are there any errors or items that may be inaccurate? If yes, print out the report and follow through with these next few steps to dispute all inaccurate or negative items on your credit report.
3. Fill out a credit bureau dispute form
Each of the credit bureaus has an area on its website dedicated to credit report disputes. Here, you will find instructions and dispute forms for each.
Here is where to find dispute forms for all three major credit bureaus:
● To dispute Experian, fill out the Experian dispute form
● To dispute Equifax, fill out the Equifax dispute form
● To dispute TransUnion, fill out the TransUnion dispute form
Note: If the information you want to dispute appears on all three reports, you will need to file a separate dispute with each of the credit reporting bureaus.
4. Print out your credit report and notate the errors
In step two you printed out your original credit report. Now, you will want to notate the errors you noticed on your report by circling the items you wish to have changed. It’s important that the credit bureau knows exactly what your request is about, so be extra careful here and make sure the information you are citing here matches the description on your credit report dispute form.
5. Send your dispute to the credit bureau(s)
In order to dispute a credit report and win, you will likely want to include as much information as possible to support your case. That said, you will need to include some items in addition to your dispute claim and your credit report.
Depending on what type of things you want to dispute on your credit report, your case may require different documents. For example, if you are trying to remove a closed credit card account from your score, you might include a record of the closed account with your documents. If you want to dispute a collection amount, you should provide proof of the settled debt or a receipt that shows you made the required payments.
Once you have all of your documents put together, there are a few ways you can approach the dispute process:
● Online: For many, the easiest way to go through the dispute process is by simply uploading your dispute and relative documents online (you can use the links referenced above to do so).
● By phone: You can also file a dispute by phone with Equifax and TransUnion—Experian does not offer this option.
○ Equifax: 1-866-349-5191
○ TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800
● By mail: Lastly, you can send your dispute and documents by certified mail with a return receipt.
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Some words of advice: how to dispute items on your credit report
Wondering “does disputing credit work?” Unfortunately, it is not always that simple…but there are certainly some things you can do to increase your odds. If you do file disputes with the credit bureaus, you should think about how to word your letter. Simply ask that they verify what’s already being reported.
After you file your dispute, the credit bureaus will contact the furnishing party, normally a lender or a collection agency. These parties are formally referred to as “data furnishers” or “furnishers” for short.
It is their responsibility to investigate your claim and get back to the credit bureaus, normally within 30 days, but there are some scenarios when it can take 45 days.
If they confirm the accuracy of the credit reporting, then you will likely have to live with it until the credit bureaus have to remove the item, which normally takes 7 years.
Questions regarding your credit report errors? Message us here. Call Today 718-674-1245.