Each year, the three credit bureaus receive hundreds of credit repair letters from consumers all over the US, requesting for corrections or disputing unauthorized charges in their credit reports. In fact, the FTC encourages everyone to exercise their right to dispute inaccuracies which could inflict damage to their personal credit. In this article, we will discuss the steps on how you can fix your personal credit by sending a credit repair letter.
Order your report. The first step is to order a copy of your report from each of the three major credit bureaus. It’s important to order one copy from each bureau since these consumer credit trackers do their own reporting.
Check for possible errors. It is not common for erroneous reporting to happen. IT can either be the creditor or the bureau itself that committed the mistake in reporting. People who have been victims of identity theft and fraud will surely discover unauthorized charges in their credit file.
List down items to be disputed. It is essential for you to make sure that your complaint is valid. Therefore, before preparing to write your credit dispute letter, it’s a good idea to make a list first of all the items you wish to be corrected and clarify if these are really errors.
Write a credit dispute letter. Your letter should be clear and straight to the point. There is no need to make an elaborate explanation as long as you point out the items in question and a brief statement as to why you think they need to be corrected. You can read sample dispute letters from a reliable website so you can see the proper formatting and style.
Support your dispute. Include photocopies of receipts or documents that can solidify your complaint. For instance, if a particular debt has already been paid, you can include a copy of the receipt of your payment. Remember to send photocopies, not the original documents.
Record your progress. Don’t forget to jot down the date when you sent your letter of dispute to the credit bureaus as this information would be useful in case the credit bureau fails to respond to your dispute. You must also make a copy of your credit dispute letter for your reference.
Wait up to 30 days. According to the FTC, a credit bureau must conduct an investigation immediately upon receipt of the dispute letter. The investigation must not exceed 30 days. Afterwards, the complainant must be notified about the result of the investigation. If your dispute has been validated, the bureau will also send an updated copy of your credit report for free. In addition, it must alert the other two major bureaus about the investigation that has taken place and the corrections made to your credit file.
Follow up your dispute. In case you do not receive any response from the credit bureau after you sent your dispute letter, you must send a follow-up dispute letter, emphasizing your right to dispute as stipulated in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Enclose a copy of your first dispute letter with your follow-up letter as well.