Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers have the right to dispute the negative records found in their credit reports. This can be done by sending a dispute letter to the credit bureau who issued the report. The Law requires credit reporting agencies to act upon consumer credit disputes by conducting an investigation on the issue.
Here is a guide on how you can write an effective credit dispute letter that will get the attention of the credit bureau:
Get your credit report. First, you need to personally check your report. Order a copy from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian,Equifax,TransUnion).
Examine. Examine your report and check if there are unauthorized charges, false details or outdated remarks that affect your credit history.
Specify the items in dispute. Do not beat around the bush. Point out the exact item you are disputing. To be clearer, include a photocopy of your report with the items on dispute marked or encircled.
Send a separate letter for each error. If you find that there is more than one unauthorized or incorrect charges in your accounts, you must send out a separate dispute letter for each error.
On the other hand, if you are requesting corrections for the spelling of your name, address or other personal information, you may point out all these details in the same letter.
Make it personal. Sending out a dispute letter template to the bureaus may not get you the attention you deserve. To ensure that your letter will be taken seriously, it’s best to write a personal letter.
Make it concise. Remember, it does not need to be long or elaborate. Your main goal for sending the letter is to point out the errors or charges that you want to be verified or corrected.
Know your rights. Keep in mind that you have the right to dispute. Credit bureaus are obligated to investigate your complaint and take the necessary action afterwards. The investigation can take up to 30 days so you will need to wait for the bureau’s response.
Once the investigation has been completed, you will be sent an updated copy of your report for free. However, if the bureau finds that you have insufficient evidence or that your complaint is not valid, you will be informed about the result of the investigation.
If you do not receive any response from the credit bureau after 30 days, send them another letter, reminding them of their obligation to respond to your complaint. If this still fails, file a complaint to the FTC.
Need tips on how you can write your own credit dispute letter Here are some samples of what you can download.
- Disputing Information On Credit File
- Verification of the Corrected Items on Credit Report
- Disputing Inaccurate Information On Credit File