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How Do I File a Complaint with a Credit Bureau?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Jan 31, 2024
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When a consumer finds that his or her credit reports with different credit bureaus contains inaccurate data, there is usually a need to file a complaint with each credit bureau in order to correct the issue. This is important, since the consumer’s credit score is determined based on the information found on those credit reports. Fortunately, the process for filing a complaint with a credit bureau is very simple, especially if the consumer already has documentation to support his or her claims.

The first step in the process to file a complaint with a credit bureau is to gather documentation to refute an inaccurate line item found on the bureau’s credit report. It is important to make sure that all the documents are directly relevant to the line item that needs correction. For example, if the line item involves a credit card account that was paid in full six months ago, but the credit report shows that the account has a balance, obtain proof from the card provider that the current balance on the account is actually zero. Official documents from creditors will help credit bureau officials to quickly verify your claims and make updates to the report detail.

When preparing the complaint to the credit bureau, determine if there is a specific form you should use. Most bureaus provide both hard copy complaint forms they can provide to consumers via post, as well as downloadable forms that can be obtained at the bureau web sites. Using the correct form will help to expedite consideration and logging of the complaint, which will ultimately help to achieve a resolution to the problem sooner rather than later.

Always fill out the credit bureau complaint form in full. Include as much detail as needed to directly answer every question posed on the form. Once the form is prepared, make copies of all the supporting documentation collected and send the information to the credit bureau. When filing the complaint online, keep in mind that some bureaus will accept electronic copies along with an electronic complaint form, while others may require that you print the form and send all information in hard copy by regular mail. Many bureaus will recommend holding on to original documentation as well as a copy of the complaint form, just in case the information is lost or damaged in transit.

Keep in mind that while credit bureau personnel will review the complaint and verify the data provided, the process may take some time to complete. Many bureaus suggest that consumers allow up to 30 days after submitting the complaint before checking on its status. The time is often needed to initiate contact with creditors and verify the information you provided, a process that often depends on how long it takes for those creditors to get back in touch with bureau personnel.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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