Credit Dispute Letters
Cleaning the errors of your past off your credit report is extremely hard and long work. Whether you’re nearing the end of the finish line or you’re just beginning in the crazy race for a clean credit report, you should never give up on the race, no matter how frustrated it is making you. Read more to learn how to dispute errors on your credit report.
So many people don’t realize that The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires a policy that the reporting agencies need to begin a fair credit investigation whenever a person disputes some information on their credit reports. To get these negative/incorrect errors removed, you have to do something about it.
Since many individuals don’t realize their financial and social rights and, not many people know about this reporting act. So many people don’t think that the law is on their side, but with this fair trade act available, the truth is when you find an error on your credit report, the law, in fact, has to be on your side.
Once you dispute your credit report from the three major bureaus – Transunion, Equifax, and Experian – they are obligated to investigate it in a fair way. Usually, if you just let an error go, they mainly leave the investigating up to collectors, lenders and others to do the investigating, when really, it is up to you too find the errors and dispute them so you can get it properly investigated.
How Credit Errors Show Up On Your Credit Report
Some credit errors are so small that they won’t affect your credit score, but some are so big that it could make your score go down and you’ll be dealing with having to overpay on a higher interest rate for years. It can also take years to repair it. With fair credit reporting laws, you do, however, have a chance to fix your errors. It can take a while to report dispute errors, but it can be worth it.
If these errors can affect your whole score so bad, then why do they happen? In 2009, the National Consumer Law Center identified that there are four primary reasons why mistakes can occur on our credit scores:
1. Mixed Up Files
Believe it or not, but if someone has a similar name than you, their data can be mixed up with yours. That can potentially make you hit finance problems.
Theft has been soaring with the help of the internet. It seems our personal security is spread all online. If someone is using your social security number, or your mail gets mixed up with someone else, someone steals your identity and make it theirs so they can open and charge accounts under your name and never have to worry about the payments. Unfourtinalty, even though identity theft is such a big problem, this can be one of the hardest things to remove off your report with a credit reporting act.
3. Furnisher Errors
Credit report accuracy depends on these three things:
– Credit Bureaus
– Data Furnishers
Data furnishers – i.e. banks, lenders, debt collectors and other companies – report all your data on your report to the credit bureaus and sometimes they report something inaccurate.
4. Re-Aging Old Debts
Certain items on your report have an “age limit” for how long it is on your account for – A collection account stays on your report for seven years and 180 days from the day it was first delinquent – but sometimes re-aging occurs. Re-aging is when a debt is sold to a third party creditor, and unfortunately, that date gets muddled, causing this debt to be on your report longer than it is supposed to be.
How Do I Know If I Have Derogatory Marks On My Credit Report?
To know if there is an issue with your score or not, you need reserved copies of all three reports from every bureau. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report from creditkarma.com, this website won’t hurt or change your credit score at all, and you won’t need to add any credit cards or bank information because it is free. Get your free credit here.
If you are looking at your reports and notice errors, you have two choices when it comes to credit repair; you can either do it on your own or hire a credit repair company to do it for you. If you don’t have much money, I suggest you do it yourself, unless you need the help.
I cannot stress this enough, please make sure you look at all three credit reports! An error can occur on one but not the other two
Make sure you go through every section with a fine tooth comb, it does make a difference and highlight the negative things on each section of your report. You’ll need to dispute each of them </strong>seperatly</strong> with the bureau that issued the report that error is on. Even if the same error shows up on all three, you need to dispute it with all three bureaus.
After you finish your investigation, take inventory of all the errors you want to dispute. Keep in mind, if you have many errors on your report you want to dispute, it is going to take quite a while to dispute them all, since you cannot do it all at once.
HOW To Dispute Negative Items From Your Credit
If you need to dispute negative items from your reports, you have two choices; you can send it online or by certified mail – USPS – with all credit bureaus to challenge an error.
Tips When sending Your Disputes Over The Mail:
– A dispute letter is the best way to go (I will give you a sample one at the bottom)
– Send it with a tracking number. Sending it through certified how you will know exactly when it gets to its destination.
– Send any supporting documentation along with your dispute letter, this could make the process a little quicker. Send copies, not the originals
– Do know, you will hear back from the bureau regarding your dispute within a thirty-day window slot. It may take a bit longer depending on how long it will take your letter to be received and how long it will take to get it sent back to you.
Tips On Your Dispute Via Credit Bureau Portals
– You don’t need a dispute letter, but you do need to let them know what the error is and where it appears on your report
– It will be sent instatnly to the bureau, and you may see the progress of your dispute online with the dispute portal
– You are allowed to upload supporting documentation. For privacy reasons, some people prefer this method over sending it through the mail.
– Once the investigation is done, you will be notified through your email.
Remember, supporting documentation is key to getting an error on your account taken off. If the bureaus don’t have supporting documents of what is wrong, they can’t be sure it is incorrect or not. In some cases, it can be hard to know what type of evidence you need to prove it is an error.
If you are hit with a situation that you aren’t sure how to defend your credit report and need some extra protection,- maybe student loans, a bank loan or a credit card bill that isn’t in your name – you can hire a credit repair company to represent you on your behalf in their terms to all the bureaus. They have the resources to help you with any unknown information or any question you have and are you are unsure of. If you hire a good credit repair company, they can explain exactly what they can and can not do on your behalf. Don’t think they can wipe your slate clean, so to speak. If they guarantee you that they can get your score back to perfect, don’t trust them and never, ever send a payment or card information, until you have received their services. Credit repair companies are extremely helpful to individuals who have a lot of errors or persons who are going trough a major identity theft issue. Remember, this is going to be a process, one you can do on your own, don’t just hit the “easy button” and hire a credit repair company when they are not needed.
Tips On Writing A Good Dispute Letter
– Be as clear and concise as possible.
– Don’t Quote Federal Laws
– Provide your return address
– Including any supporting and related documentation
Here Is A Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter For The Federal Trade To Write
There are plenty of forms online, my advice is to remember you have to fill in any information that pertains to yourself and your situation. If you do a search, you can find may more sample online. There will never be an exact sample letter to go by, use these for reference only. Remember, to get the best results you need your content to be as clear and detailed as you possibly can!
Your City, State, Zip Code
Name of Credit Bureau
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. These items I dispute also are encircled on the attached copy of the report I received.
This item [Identifiy the item disputed by name of sources and identify type of item] is innacurate or incomplete] becasue [explain what item is innacurate or incomplete and why the item is innacorate or incomplete]. I am requestin gthat the tiem e dleted [or request other specififc changes you need] to correct the information.
Enclosed are copyright copies (If you don’t have any copies, then don’t worry about this sentence, but you should consider finding some evidence to support why these are incorrect. They could be anything from payment records to court documents) supporting my position. Please re-investigate this matter and [delete or correct] the disputed item as soon as possible.
Enclosures [list what you are enclsing]
Here is a video originally posted on Youtube. It will tell you what NOT to put in your dispute letters!
Click here to watch this video!
It is important to remember, fixing your credit can be a long and windy path that can go down much frustrating turns, don’t give up!
More Letters To Send For More Help
After you send out your Request Removal of Inaccurate Information letter, you can send these out, if you don’t hear back:
– Another letter to request removal of inaccurate information. This should be the shorter version of the one you had to send above. You can send this a little after following the original disputing letter. By the way, dont bombard credit reporting bureaus.
– Follow Up Letter to you Request for Removal of Inaccurate Information. If you haven’t heard from the bureau, send a follow-up letter and ask to hear about your original letter of dispute.
– Letter requesting removal of inquiries. If unauthorized credit inquiries are being made on your scores, send this letter to the credit agency asking them to remove it from your report.
– Notification to a Credit Bureau that you are filing a lawsuit aginst them. This should only be sent out if you didn’t receive anything back from them.
Be sure you have the evidence to back your allegations up! You have every right to sue them, but you are going against some powerful business that has files of everything on your report and plenty of practices on their menu. If you decide to go down this route, just make sure you have exhausted each option out first, get as much education abut it as possible and make sure you try to contact them as much as possible before you do this. Also, include as much form and documentation as you can.