How to Dispute Credit Report – Part 2

Part 2 of how to dispute credit report guide explains your steps and rights under the FACT Act in case that your dispute is resolved or rejected.

After initiating a credit bureau investigation as explained in part 1, the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your dispute, check the information with the entity that supplied it and report back to you the outcome of the investigation.

When the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must give you the results in writing and an additional free copy of your credit report if the dispute results in a change. This free report does not count as your annual free report, and you should check it and verify the updated information.

Here is an example of how an investigation results letter looks like:
How To Dispute Credit Report - Investigation Result letter
There are four possible results to the investigation:

Deleted This means that the credit bureau deleted the disputed item. This is the best result.
Updated The credit bureau may make changes to the information associated with the disputed item such as balance owed, date of most recent activity, etc.

The credit bureau may also leave the information as is, but indicating that you disagree with the accuracy of the item.

Remains This means that the information was positively confirmed to be accurate.

This is the worst result, because not only it means that this information is accurate and has been verified, it will stay on your credit report and may act like double jeopardy preventing you from challenging the same item again!

Nothing Happens The credit bureau may simply ignore your dispute altogether. It may have a legitimate reason for ignoring your dispute such as:

  • The credit bureau has already completed an investigation into the same disputed information.
  • You failed to provide proper identification along with your dispute, e.g. copy of your driver’s license.
  • You failed to properly support your dispute. You should tell the credit bureau why you challenge the item, e.g. the account does not belong to you, the account is out of date, you always paid on time, etc.


What to do after you receive the investigation result letter?

Dispute Credit Report Error - ApprovedIf your dispute is resolved and the information is either removed or corrected:
  • If an item is changed or deleted, the credit reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. The credit reporting company must also send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.
  • If you ask, the credit reporting company must send notices of any corrections to anyone who received your report in the past six months. You can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.
Dispute Credit Report Error - RejectedIf your dispute is NOT resolved and the information remains on your report

If an investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute with the credit bureau, you can write a 100-word statement explaining your position of the dispute and ask the credit bureau to include it in your file and in future reports (See example below, or see how it looks in your 3-in-1 credit report). You can also ask the credit reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. This service is not free, however.

How to Dispute Credit Report - Consumaer Satement
Consumer Statement

You may also contact the information provider and tell them that you dispute a certain item. A notice of your dispute must be included anytime the information provider reports the item to any credit bureau.

If you believe that the credit bureau ignored your dispute because of a simple mistake on your part, simply fix it & re-send your original/corrected dispute letter and enclosed documents. You may want to request an expedited investigation in light of the delay.

Tags: , , , ,