How To File A Credit Report Dispute
Your credit score is a powerful little three-digit number, that plays a major role in your eligibility to get a loan, as well as the interest rate that you pay. It’s highly important to review your credit report at least once per year to look for errors that could be impacting your score. This blog post will provide you with instructions on how to file a credit report dispute, should you find any discrepancies.
Credit Report Dispute: Protect Your Credit Score
You are entitled to receive your credit report for free, once each year, from the three major credit reporting agencies-Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you notice an error on your report, it’s important to dispute it right away so that your credit score does not take a hit. When you file a dispute, the creditor that reported the error has 30 days to respond. Keep in mind that when you dispute a negative item, you are asking for a review of the item. If the item is accurate, it will remain on your credit report. Also, keep in mind that filing a dispute will not lower your score.
How To File A Credit Report Dispute: Online, Phone, Certified Mail. You Have Options.
1. Gather all the necessary documentation to support your claim, and make copies. Do not send in your original documentation, as you will need this for your personal records.
2. Write a letter, file a dispute online, or file a dispute via phone with the credit bureau in question. If you write a letter, it should include your name, address, and the reason for the dispute. The FTC provides an outline that you can utilize.
3. Tell the information provider (the person, company, or orgaization that provides the information about you to a credit reporting agency) in writing that you dispute an item on your credit report. Again, include copies, not originals of the documents that support your claim. The FTC provides an outline that you can utilize for this too.
4. If you choose to send a letter, send it via registered mail so you can ensure the bureau gets it.
5. Play the waiting game. The FTC advises that when your investigation is concluded, the credit reporting company must provide you with the results of the investigation in writing, along with a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. This report will not count as one of your three free reports that you are entitled to each year.
How To File A Dispute Online
Probably the easiest way to file a dispute is online. Utilize the below links to file a dispute with one of the three credit bureaus. Simply follow the prompts, and submit your claim. You will need to provide any documentation to support your claim as well.
If you file your dispute online, you are able to create a login and password to check the status of your dispute at any time.
Where To Send Credit Report Dispute Letters
If you prefer to send a letter, you can do so by contacting the credit bureaus at the below addresses:
Equifax: You will first need to print and complete this form.. Then mail it to:
Equifax Information Services LLC
PO BOX 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
PO Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Consumer Dispute Center
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
Credit Report Dispute Via Phone
To file a dispute via phone contact the bureaus at the below numbers.
Equifax: Call toll-free at 866-349-5191. Make sure to have a copy of your Equifax credit report handy.
Experian: You can call toll-free at 1-866-200-6020. Make sure to have a copy of your Experian credit report handy.
TransUnion: You can file a dispute toll-free at 800-916-8800. Customer service representatives are available Monday-Friday from 8 AM to 11 PM Eastern Standard Time. You will need to provide the representative with your File Identification Number (File Number), so make sure to have a copy of your TransUnion credit report handy before calling.