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How do I Handle a Dispute with a Credit Agency?

By Soo Owens
Updated: Feb 29, 2024

It is not uncommon to find that inaccurate information has been recorded on your credit report, and the nature of the error can be significant enough to adversely affect your ability to apply for loans or be approved for credit-based applications. Potential complications from a faulty credit report can be avoided by engaging in a written dispute with a credit agency in order to rectify the error. The standard credit dispute process generally necessitates a thoroughly written letter stating your case to the various parties that were involved in reporting the misinformation and including any pertinent information.

Resolving a dispute with a credit agency involves a fairly simple procedure. The proper and most efficient way to resolve a dispute with a credit agency, whether the information is related to a credit card dispute or other errors, is to notify the credit agency in writing. You can dispute a debt with the credit agency by writing a credit dispute letter that informs them of the error and clearly explains why you believe it to be so. The letter should not only be sent to the credit agency but also to the information provider, who may be a credit card company if the dispute involves a credit card, so that the incorrect information is not reported again.

A letter that outlines your dispute with a credit agency should provide your name and address in addition to your statement and explanation of the error. Along with the completed dispute letter, you should include any relevant documents such as statements and checks that further support your position. You may also want to enclose a copy of the credit report with the inaccurate information highlighted. The completed letter can then be sent to the credit agency by certified mail with a request for a return receipt.

Your dispute with a credit agency is under the agency's control from the time they receive the dispute letter until they finish their investigation, usually within 30 days. The information the credit agency receives from you will also be forwarded to the business that provided the incorrect information, which must then review the error, investigate the matter and inform the credit agency of their findings. If the information provider discovers that it did release inaccurate information, they must report the error to all credit agencies.

Once all investigations have been processed, the credit agency will send you a letter with their decision, along with an updated copy of your credit report, if the information in question was determined to be an error, and contact information for the information provider. If the credit dispute is found to be valid, the credit agency will notify everyone who requested and had access to your credit report within the past 6 months of the corrections at your request. They can also send free copies of your updated credit report to employers who have asked for one within the past two years.

A dispute with a credit agency may not always end with satisfactory results. If the credit agency fails to agree with your findings, you have the option of submitting a 100 word statement regarding the dispute to the agency. The statement will be added to your file and credit report. For a fee, the credit agency can also send your statement to everyone who has recently viewed your credit report.

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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