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Disputing Credit Report Errors

Information about you and your credit payment history is included in the credit report. The latter is used as a basis for making a decision on whether you should be given a credit or not, making it an important part of the application process.

This leads to the significance placed on the regular check of the credit report. Any discrepancies may result in a negative impact on your application for services, which you would have otherwise received.

First of all you should obtain a copy of your credit report so that you make the necessary verifications. Each of the credit reporting agencies should provide you with one free copy every year. This is a right that comes from the federal law.

After you have obtained the copy of your credit report you should carefully go through it to check for any errors. In case the latter do appear, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute them.

How to Dispute Credit Report Errors

Both the information provider and the credit bureau should be informed about the discrepancies found in the credit report. In writing put your claims and send them. Include copies of the supporting statements or cancelled checks in the statement you will send. But, don't send the originals.

A credit report dispute letter should include such information as:

  • You name
  • Address
  • Disputed information
  • Reasons for the dispute

You may also highlight the disputed information on your copy of the credit report and send it along with the other documents you enclose.

How to Write a Credit Report Dispute Letter

The first information you should include in the beginning of the dispute letter is the date, your name as well as complete address. You should clearly state the complaint department as well as the name of the company.

After this the body of the letter itself follows, starting with the traditional "Dear Sir or Madam". You should write that you have received a copy of your credit report, which includes inaccuracies or errors.

After this you should list the items you have complaints against. Explain shortly, but clearly the reasons for your dispute for each item, such as the full payment of an account, which has not been recognized by the credit reporting agency. You should clearly state the number of the corresponding account you are disputing.

It is highly recommended and almost obligatory if you want to receive positive outcomes to enclose copies of the statements, cancelled checks or other documents that support your claim.

At the end of the letter ask for the investigation on the case so that the erroneous data is fixed.

Sign the letter with your name and provide at the end a list of all documents you have enclosed.

Awaiting Response from the Credit Bureau

Your dispute letter should be sent via certified mail and a return receipt should be requested, which will serve as a proof for the sent dispute. Additionally, you will be sure that the credit reporting agency has received your claim.

30 days represents the needed time period for the investigation of the claim by the credit bureau. Within this period they will respond to you in a written form and will provide you with their results. The original information provider will receive the details on the inaccurate information. In turn, an investigation and response to the credit bureau will be provided by the information provider.

You will receive the results from the investigation by the credit bureau. If any changes have been made on the credit report, you will receive a copy of it with the changed data. You also have the right to ask the credit report to inform for the mistaken information all of the companies that have made inquiries for your credit report in the past six months.

Finally, you should have in mind that a discrepancy in one of the credit bureau's reports increases the likelihood of an error in the reports of the other credit reporting agencies. This calls for the need of a check with the other credit bureaus too.

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