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How to Submit an Experian Dispute

Sarah Edwards | October 21, 2022

The "my credit score just went up" dance

Summary: When you notice any incorrect information on your credit report, you should dispute it with Experian immediately. Doing so will not impact your credit score, unless the incorrect info is removed and your score goes up. Protect your credit score and fight off debt collectors with SoloSuit.

Your credit report is essential for financial institutions seeking to determine whether you qualify for a loan or not. Negative marks on your credit report can prevent you from borrowing money, qualifying for a cell phone plan, or getting a job. They can also hamper your efforts to obtain a mortgage or rent an apartment.

According to a survey by the FTC, approximately 5% of consumers have mistakes on their credit reports that are serious enough to stop them from obtaining favorable loans. About 25% of consumers have errors that could affect their credit scores.

With such a high potential for credit reporting errors, it’s essential to check your credit report with each credit reporting agency yearly. You’ll need to submit a dispute to the credit reporting bureau if you find mistakes.

This article will discuss how to submit a credit reporting dispute to Experian.

How do I obtain my credit report with Experian?

You can get a copy of your Experian credit report through the Annual Credit Report website.

Annual Credit Report is a government-authorized website that allows you to download a copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting bureaus, including Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Usually, the government grants you access to each report once per year for free. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, you can check your report weekly through December 31, 2023, without paying for the download.

Experian also offers a monthly plan for individuals seeking more insights into their credit reporting. Their program provides customers with FICO scores and customized recommendations for enhancing their credit.

What should I look for when checking my Experian credit report?

Once you obtain a copy of your Experian credit report, you’ll want to print it out and review each item. Check your basic personal information, like your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. While these details don’t impact your credit score, correcting any mistakes can reduce the chances of future reporting errors.

Next, you’ll want to examine each account listed on your credit report. Each account should include your creditor’s name, maximum allotted credit, current balance, and account number. You’ll also see your payment history.

Compare each account with your records. If you see discrepancies, circle them and write them down in a notepad.

Also, check for collections accounts and open medical bills. If you note any on your credit report, ensure they align with your documentation.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the most common credit report errors include:

  • Incorrect personal details
  • Accounts that belong to someone else with a similar name as you
  • Wrong account balance or credit limit
  • Listing you as the owner of an account when you’re an authorized user
  • Same debts listed multiple times
  • Incorrect reporting of late payments
  • Closed accounts indicated as open

If you notice errors on your report, you’ll want to correct them, even if you don’t think they negatively affect your credit score. Remember, circle all the errors you find and record them in a notebook for future reference.

Should I notify my creditor of a reporting error?

Sometimes you can speed up the error correction process by reaching out to your creditor directly, rather than notifying Experian first.

Call your creditor and explain the mistake on your credit report. Make sure to assemble any evidence you have. They may ask you to email a copy of the documentation to establish your claim.

Once the creditor reviews the details, they’ll decide whether to correct the error on your report. Usually, your creditor can finalize their investigation within a week or less. They'll notify the credit reporting agencies immediately if they agree that they made an error. The credit reporting agencies will delete the error.

If the creditor disagrees with your findings, they won’t take action to correct the details on your credit report. You’ll need to pursue the issue directly with Experian.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Example: Pam is getting sued for a debt she doesn't owe, and her credit score has taken a huge hit because of it. After some investigating, Pam discovers she is a victim of identity theft and that someone has opened up a credit card account in her name. She uses SoloSuit to respond to the lawsuit with an Answer document, which helps her avoid a default judgment. Next, Pam reaches out to the credit card company to report the fraudulent account. If the credit card company doesn't help her resolve the issue, Pam may need to reach out to Experian and the other credit reporting bureaus.

How do I file a dispute with Experian?

Experian offers a simple process for filing disputes. You may file your dispute online, via the mail, or over the phone.

If you file your dispute online, you’ll go to the Experian website and visit the Dispute Center. The Dispute Center will walk you through the dispute submission process. You’ll provide specific information about your concerns. You can also submit supporting evidence if you have scanned documents available.

Once you submit your online dispute, Experian will send you updates. They’ll notify you of their findings once they close the investigation, usually within 30 days.

If you’d rather mail your dispute, you can do so by sending a letter to the following address:

P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013

If you mail your dispute, include a copy of your Experian credit report and supporting details. Ensure that the information you provide is clear and easy to follow. You should also include your direct contact information in case Experian investigators need more information about your claim.

Finally, you can initiate a dispute by calling the number provided on your credit report. If you don’t see an Experian phone number, you may call 866-200-6020.

What happens after I file an Experian dispute?

Once you file a dispute with Experian, they’ll review all the details you give them concerning the error. If the mistake involves a creditor, they’ll contact them for additional information.

Experian won’t delete any adverse reports concerning your accounts unless your creditor cannot prove they are accurate or does not respond to their requests. If the creditor doesn’t provide convincing evidence, Experian will remove the error from your report.

The entire investigation process typically takes 30 days or less to resolve. If Experian needs more time to correct the error, they will let you know.

What are the potential outcomes after a credit report dispute?

There are three potential consequences after Experian investigates your dispute. The outcomes include:

  • Removing any incorrect details from your credit report
  • Leaving accurate information on your credit report
  • Updating or deleting details that Experian can’t verify

Once Experian finishes the investigation, they’ll notify you of their conclusions.

Can I dispute my credit score?

No, you cannot dispute your credit score. Your credit score is an automatic calculation driven by the contents of your credit report. It considers factors like the history of your accounts, on-time payments, your credit usage, current available credit, and any bills in collections.

If you note errors that adversely impact your credit report, disputing them may increase your credit score.

Does filing a dispute impact my credit score?

No, filing a dispute has no impact on your credit or your credit score. However, you may increase your credit score if you successfully remove an error from your credit report through the dispute process.

Errors that negatively impact your credit report are more likely to increase your credit score. The age of the error also determines how much of an influence it will have on your credit score.

For instance, removing a recently reported late payment is more likely to positively impact your credit score than a late payment from five years ago.

What if Experian doesn’t remove the error from my report?

Experian won’t remove a mistake from your report if it can verify the reporting through other means. However, you do have the option to take further action.

You can contact the creditor and explain why the information is incorrect. You’ll probably need to provide some type of proof. The creditor will look into the matter and decide whether they agree with you or not.

You can also add a statement of dispute to your credit report. When you apply for a loan or perform other activities requiring someone to review your credit report, they’ll see your statement of dispute on the report.

Finally, you can refile your dispute with Experian. However, you won’t be successful unless you have additional information to support your dispute.

How can I improve my credit score?

There are many ways to improve your credit score, but they won’t apply to everyone. Generally, making on-time payments, minimizing your credit utilization, and keeping credit inquiries to a minimum will improve your credit score.

It will take time for your credit score to bounce back if you have negative information on your credit report, like charge-offs or a bankruptcy. However, if you keep your other accounts in good standing, your score will continue to improve.

Negative information, such as late or missed payments, stays on your account for seven years. You can dispute any adverse reporting if it stays on your report past that timeframe.

Positive information will stay on your credit report indefinitely.

Staying on top of your credit report is an excellent financial habit

While reviewing your credit report for incorrect information probably doesn’t sound very exciting, it’s a good habit. Checking for errors can prevent future problems, like loan denials or difficulties purchasing a home.

Inspecting your credit report is also a proactive way of preventing identity theft. If someone gets hold of your details, they can easily apply for a loan on your behalf. Your credit report will include information on all of your loans, including ones that a criminal opens in your name illegally.

Most personal finance gurus recommend checking your credit reports annually and more frequently if you are planning a large purchase, like buying a house.

Protect your credit score with SoloSuit

When you owe a debt and fall behind on your payments, your credit score will probably take a hit. However, it is not uncommon for inaccurate and fraudulent debt information to find its way onto your credit report.

If you are a victim of identity theft, or if your creditor has transferred your debt to a collections agency who has reported inaccurate information to the credit bureaus, you

When a debt collector initially reaches out to claim you owe them, you should respond with a Debt Validation Letter within 30 days. This forces the collector to validate the debt, and if they cannot, they will most likely back off.

If they continue to report inaccurate information, you can file a dispute explaining that you never received a proper debt validation. Experian will reach out to the collectors and remove the information as soon as they find out that the reported debt is invalid.

Protect your credit score and respond to debt collectors with SoloSuit.

Learn more about how a Debt Validation Letter can help you in this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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