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The Resource Center Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring | article

How to File a Credit Report Dispute

Did you know if you find errors on your credit report you have the right to dispute the charges? But where do you start? What do you do? Who can you turn to? Don't get overwhelmed, we can help you with the detective work.

You have every right to dispute inaccuracies in your credit report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the credit bureaus and your creditors are obligated to correct inaccurate information in a timely manner.  Start by reviewing your credit report carefully. If you find a fraudulent account on your credit reports, you may write a dispute letter to the credit reporting agency and the company that holds the account, informing them that the account in question is illegitimate. With your dispute letter, you will want to include any evidence that may support your case. By law, credit reporting agencies have 30 days to respond to a dispute letter.

How to file a dispute

Contact the creditor with the incorrect information

  • We’ve created some sample letters that you can use to start the process.
  • Some creditors will correct minor errors over the phone, so we recommend that you contact the creditor first.
  • Your list of creditors can be found in the Creditor Contact section of your Identity Guard credit report.

Contact the credit bureaus

  • Disputes may be sent to the credit reporting agencies online or in a letter:
    • Experian – Disputes are not accepted by mail or telephone, but you may file a dispute online.
    • Equifax – Disputes are accepted online, or you use one of our sample letters and mail your dispute.
    • Trans Union – Disputes are accepted online, or use one of our sample letters and mail your dispute.
  • Once the credit reporting agency receives your request, it has 30 days to investigate and provide a response to you in writing. During its investigation, the credit reporting agency will contact the institution that provided the disputed information to seek verification of its accuracy. If the disputed information cannot be verified, it must be removed from your credit report or updated per your request. Information that is verified as accurate may remain in your credit files for as long as allowed by law.
  • You may file more than one dispute at a time. You may also file disputes with more than one credit reporting agency. Each dispute will be investigated separately, but may be processed simultaneously.

Follow up

  • If you have not received a response to your request after 30 days, write a letter to the credit reporting agency indicating that you have not been notified of the results.
  • We’ve created a sample letter that you can customize as necessary to explain your case. Print, sign and mail the letter to the appropriate credit reporting agency, keeping a copy for your records.

Don’t give up

  • If upon receiving the results of the investigation you are still not satisfied, you may request information regarding the person or institution that supplied the information.

Sample Forms & Letters

If you think your personal or financial information has been compromised in some way, here are a few forms that can help. Just find the one that is relevant to your situation and follow the instructions provided on it.

Account Closed Credit Dispute Inaccurate Account Balance
Account in Bankruptcy Disagree with Investigation Results Not My Account
Account Paid Before Collection Former Spouse Never Paid Late
Account Paid in Full Investigation Results Pending Unauthorized Inquiry