Tips on Disputing Credit Reporting Errors
As per the FACTA amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), American consumers are entitled to one free credit report per a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Consumers should use these free credit reports to ensure that the information in their file is complete and accurate. Ensuring the accuracy of your credit history is essential because your credit history is what lenders utilize when determining whether you will be granted a loan and the favorability of the terms.
There are three ways an individual can dispute the information provided in their credit report by Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian: by mail, over the phone or through the Internet. While the three major credit reporting agencies all accept these methods of submission, it is highly recommended that those who wish to file a dispute utilize the online method for faster processing times and more responsive support.
You may also dispute the information on your credit report with the company, business, or other entity that provided the information to Experian, Transunion, or Equifax. Companies that provide car loans, credit cards, cell phone service, home utilities, national department stores and many others may report to the credit reporting agency and appear on your credit report.
While reduced processing times and some guidance are advantages of filing your dispute online through the guided forms provided by each agency, filing a dispute by mail can allow you to keep more thorough records. If you would like to file your dispute in a formal letter sent through the post office, be sure to provide as many relevant details and as much proof as possible.
What Information Should I Provide When Disputing my Credit report?
The information you provide is dependent upon the inaccuracy you have identified and the corrections that you have requested. However be sure to retain your originals and copies of your originals for your own records – DO NOT SEND YOUR ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS. In general, you should provide:
- Your full name
- Your current address
- Each item you dispute
- The facts regarding each item you dispute
- Whether you would like the information corrected or removed
- Court records
- Payment records like credit card statements or check images
- Monthly statements
- Any other relevant information
For disputes by mail that are sent to Experian, you should also include a copy of a government identification and a current utility bill that shows your address.
One common dispute is that the Social Security number of your report is inaccurate. To correct this problem, show the inaccuracy by providing their Social Security card or a W-2 tax filing. Similarly, if your date of birth was incorrectly reported then your birth certificate or government-issued drivers’ license would likely provide sufficient proof to correct the error. If there is a dispute over non-payment, submit your monthly account statements, including a statement showing a zero balance, and proof of your payment like a cashed check or credit card charge.
Ways to Contact Reporting Agencies and Other Companies
Below, please find a link to each company’s online dispute page. While all agencies still accept and processes disputes through the mail, delays in processing due to transit times may occur. Additionally, contact information by mail and phone are provided for your convenience. Furthermore, if you choose to dispute by mail, we have provided letter templates that you can complete by providing your relevant details, information and evidence. All disputes that are sent by mail should be sent via certified mail with a return receipt requested.
Equifax Credit Report Disputes
Equifax Disputes (online)
1-866-229-7861 (phone)Equifax Information Services, LLC PO Box 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374
Disputes with Equifax can be handled through the mail, over the phone, or online. For your convenience, we have provided an Equifax Reporting letter template.
Experian Credit Report Disputes
Experian Disputes (online)
1-866-200-6020 (phone)Experian Disputes P.O. Box 4500 Allen, TX 75013
Disputes with Experian can be handled through the mail, over the phone, or online. To better serve hard-working Americans, we have provided an Experian Reporting letter template.
TransUnion Credit Report Disputes
TransUnion Disputes (online)
Disputes with TransUnion can be handled through the mail, over the phone, or online. We have made a TransUnion Reporting letter template publicly available.
Disputes with a Company that provides information to a credit agency
Methods of submitting a credit reporting dispute to an information providing company varies on a company-by-company basis, but all should accept a written dispute letter like the attached dispute template for companies that report to credit agencies. All written disputes should be mailed certified with a return receipt requested. Furthermore you should be sure to provide all relevant information and a contact method. For your convenience, a template for disputes with companies that report to the credit agencies is available here.
Put our Fair Credit Reporting Act Experience to work for you
If you have been unable to correct a mistake on your credit report, Young, Marr & Associates has fought for hard-working New Jerseyans and Pennsylvanians for more than 20 years. With more than 5,000 cases filed and handled, you can rest assured that you will work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. To contact our office for your free initial consultation, contact us online or call our 24-hour toll free number at 1 (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania.
☑ Been paying credit card balances that seem to never go down?
☑ Lost your job and are now having trouble keeping up?
☑ Attempted to work out a payment arrangement to no avail?
☑ Been notified of a mortgage foreclosure action?
☑ Been denied for a mortgage or other line of credit?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then bankruptcy may be an option that you should consider.