How to Dispute Inaccurate Credit Reports

Updated on May 08, 2009
H.B. asks from Richardson, TX
4 answers

For the first time ever my husband and I actually looked at our credit reports. We were just looking for one particular item but, found several things that are incorrect and are affecting our credit scores. How do I get the best results when I dispute these items? I do not want to use a "credit repair" service.

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answers from Dallas on

You need to contact each institution where you see an error and have them correct it. If you do not know how to contact them the credit reporting agencies should be able to provide you with that information.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The Fair Credit Reporting Act spells out the responsibilities that credit bureaus have in maintaining reports. Listen to Dave Ramsey or check out his website because he has often given advice on how to deal with credit bureaus with wrong information. I know you need to contact them in writing, certified mail so you have proof, explain the discrepancy or dispute and then they need to contact the creditor to confirm or correct the report. If they do not get a response from the creditor, they have to delete the information (I believe the time frame is 30 days, but I am not sure.)
There is no reason to use a "credit repair" service if you are willing to write the letters, challenge the information, send by certified, return receipt requested mail, and then follow up. I believe there are still three credit reports that you will need to check. Pull your credit reports again in a few months to make sure that all is correct.



answers from Dallas on

Did you get your reports directly from the bureaus or from one of those credit reporting websites that shows summaries of all three reports? If you got them from the bureaus, there should be instructions included on how to dispute.

I spent a LOT of time cleaning mine. It helped that for most of it, I had documentation from the creditors showing my accounts as closed/paid in full, etc. If you do not have this already, simply call the number on the incorrect item on your report and request that they send you a letter reflecting your status. This won't help you if they are sending bad info to the reporting agency, but it will help if the reporting agency has screwed the info up for some reason. Also, if your stuff has been sent to collections, even if you paid, the collection places may be reporting bad info and the original creditor may have your info straight. Always call both the original creditor AND the collection agency and request documentation from both. If they conflict (one says you paid, one says you didn't) then you use the one that says you paid to get the item removed from your report.

Steps I specifically followed:
1. I had a letter with bullet points stating what the error on the report was and what attached documentation I had supporting the required change. Unfortunately, you WILL need to provide documentation to support the correction.
2. I made a copy of my letter and all of the documentation I was including.
4. They never could correct every error I pointed out at one time...after my first letter, they sent me an updated copy of my report and they'd only fixed 3 of the 22 items I sent them another copy of my original letter along with a cover letter telling them what they still needed to fix. Certified, return receipt requested.

Lather, rinse, repeat, if you have a lot of items you will have to do this several times yourself. BUT, you can do this yourself, it doesn't cost anything besides the mailing fees. And they have to provide you a free updated copy of your credit report in response to every request you send them until it's right.

Hope this helps!!



answers from Dallas on

we have been thru the credit repair agencies and it helps, but not quite like they say. But, we were able to get some formatted letters from them that help when disputing. You write each agency that is reporting inaccurate info. You tell them that you are disputing XXX acct and what the reason is. If its paid in full, something that does not belong to you... etc. If you can provide them with proof thats great but not necessary. They have 30 days to validate the debt and if they are not able to do so, then they must delete the item. As someone else said you can contact the creditor but sometimes that is difficult too. If you want more details, message me. We work our credit reports yearly and it is effective. Good luck!

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