Sending a credit report dispute letter is as easy as pie with this guide.
Summary: If you've noticed an error on your credit report, you should dispute it immediately. Here's everything you need to know sending a credit report dispute letter.
What happens if you notice an error on your credit report? The mistake won't go away by itself. When you notice an error, you need to file a dispute with the credit reporting agency. Errors on your credit file can affect your overall credit health and should be rectified as soon as possible.
While there are different types of credit report dispute letters, a general credit report dispute letter is the best to use. You don't need to invoke a specific section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The letter simply states which items you don't agree with and why you're disputing them.
The general letter is used to file a complaint with the credit reporting agency that reported the error. You may also need to contact the furnisher (bank or credit card provider) of the wrong entry so that they can correct the error on their end.
What you need to know before sending a credit report dispute letter
In the same way you want credit bureaus and furnishers to handle your files with care, you should be careful with any disputes.
You never want to dispute a positive item on your credit report. Once it's removed, it is almost impossible to get it back. So before disputing any item, make sure it's affecting your account negatively.
It's worth noting that the bureaus can use the information you send to them against you. Make sure any documents you send in are in your favor. Also, remember to make and send copies of documents. The originals are yours for record-keeping.
You can dispute every item on your credit report. Some of those items include:
- Your personal information
- Hard inquiries
- Debts in collections
- Delayed payments
- Property repossessions etc.
The best credit report dispute letter is short and straight to the point. It uses respectful, professional language. Refrain from being combative, and stick to the facts surrounding the inaccuracy you are disputing.
Free sample credit report dispute letter
You don't have to pay for filing a dispute letter. Just fill in the necessary information accurately and send it to the credit bureau.
A dispute letter is easy to write, and you don't need an attorney. Everything can be done from the comfort of your home and then mailed to the respective bureaus.
Here's a sample general letter you can use:
The government has also provided a free-to-download template of a Credit Report Dispute Letter. Here are the addresses to each credit bureau:
||TransUnion LLC Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
||Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
||P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Request confirmation from the credit reporting company once the correction is made. Make sure the error has been removed before you stop following up. Errors that involve identity theft should be reported immediately to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Frequently asked questions
Like most consumers, you may have wondered about these questions.
Can I dispute my credit report on the phone?
Yes, you can but it isn't recommended. Here are the phone numbers for the major credit reporting agencies:
- Experian: (888) 397-3742
- Equifax: (800) 864-2978
- TransUnion: (800) 916-8800
Phone calls are not the best way to go about disputing your credit report, though. Phone conversations are difficult to document. You may also give up some of your rights if you decide to call.
An old-school letter in the mailbox is your best bet. It is the slowest but the most effective of creating a record of your attempt to resolve the issue. When you use certified mail, you have proof of when the bureau received your letter. The bureau you dispute with has 30 days to investigate the dispute and make the necessary corrections. If you can prove when they received your letter, you can track the progress.
Is online credit dispute an option?
Yes. All three nationwide credit bureaus have an online option to dispute your report. Keep in mind that the templates are designed by each agency and may be geared towards their advantage. Writing your dispute letter puts you in control of the process.
It's easy to dispute erroneous information on your credit report with a credit report dispute letter. It's even easier to prevent the wrong debt data from reaching the credit bureaus by using SoloSuit's Debt Validation Letter to validate each debt as soon as you are contacted.
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