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Credit Report Dispute: Ways to Dispute Credit Report Errors

“Want to do a credit report dispute but not sure how? Let this article help. Check it out now!”

Ways to Do a Credit Report Dispute

In the early 70’s the Fair Credit Reporting Act (hereafter “FCRA”) was enacted as a way to set guidelines regarding credit reporting industry practices, procedures and consumer protections.

That Act has evolved over time, and thanks to multiple amendments the current version gives consumers a variety of options when it comes to challenging information on their credit reports.

Those options are:

1. The Most Common Method – Direct to Credit Bureau
By far the most common way consumers challenge information on their credit report is by filing a dispute directly with one or more of the national credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

You can file a direct-to-bureau dispute via the credit bureaus’ websites, a letter or over the telephone.

When the credit bureaus receive your communication they are obligated by the FCRA to show the offensive item as being “in dispute.” They are also obligated to contact the furnishing party, normally a bank or collection agency, and verify the accuracy of the information in dispute.

This process cannot take longer than 30 to 45 days and if the mistake is on all three of your credit reports then you have to repeat this process–times three.

The form sent by the credit bureaus to banks and collection agencies is called an “ACDV”, or automated consumer dispute verification form. This form is normally sent electronically via a system called e-OSCAR.

2. The Not So Common Method – Direct to Furnisher
It’s not a huge secret but consumers are also allowed to file disputes directly with the party that furnished the allegedly incorrect information to the credit bureaus.

So, instead of trying to reach someone with the credit reporting agencies all you have to do is call your bank or the collection agency and let them know you are disputing the credit reporting of some item and you want it corrected.

When you file your dispute direct-to-furnisher, they are also obligated to communicate to the credit bureaus, all of them, that you are challenging the item and the alleged mistake is properly noted as being “in dispute.”

The furnisher also has the same obligation to perform an investigation. If they determine that the item is in fact incorrect, a correction must be sent to all three of the credit reporting agencies.

This process is called “carbon copy.”

The form sent by the banks and collection agencies to correct their credit reporting is called a “UDF”, or universal data form. This form is also normally sent electronically via the e-OSCAR system. More at 3 Ways to Dispute Credit Report Errors

You can also check out this video for more Credit Report Dispute tips:

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How to Dispute Credit Report

“Credit reporting errors can have an impact on your credit score and financial future.  These tips will help you on how to dispute credit report. Read them now!”

How to Dispute a Credit Report

When you get your credit report, you may find information on it that is not correct. When that happens, you’ll need to understand how to dispute an error on your credit report. Here, we will explain how mistakes wind up on credit reports and how to fix them.

Three major credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, maintain credit information about consumers. These companies are competitors and they each collect and maintain their own individual reports about consumers. In other words, they don’t share information with each other. The data they collect is compiled into credit reports, also referred to as “credit files” or “credit histories.”

Your credit report is a record of how you’ve managed credit accounts, including credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, and personal loans. Some types of accounts – such as medical debt or utility accounts – are not usually reported unless those bills go to collections.

How do mistakes happen?
The details on your credit report has been supplied by creditors, and gathered from public record sources, such as the court system in the case of bankruptcies or judgments. If a creditor or other source that gathers this information makes a mistake (typing in an address wrong or Social Security number, for example), that error may wind up on your credit reports.

Also keep in mind that credit reports are only compiled when they are requested. When you or a creditor requests your credit report or credit score. To do that, the credit reporting agencies will try to “match” account information they have in their databases to the consumer for which the report has been ordered. Usually that process works fine, but sometimes information about relatives or other consumers with similar names can get mixed up with yours.

Finally, if you have been inconsistent in the information you’ve used when filling out applications (using different variations of your name or address, for example), that can show up as an error on your reports.

How do you correct mistakes on your credit report?
The first step in disputing a credit report mistake is to understand whether an item is wrong or not. That sounds logical but it can be trickier than you realize. For example, your credit report may list an inquiry from a company you don’t recognize, but if that company accessed your credit report, the credit reporting agency is legally obligated to report that inquiry. Or your report may show a collection account that you paid off. While you may think it should be removed because you paid it, under federal law it can be reported for up to seven years and six months from the date you fell behind with the original creditor, regardless of whether it has been paid. (Of course, a paid collection account should still be listed as paid.)

Once you have established that an item is wrong, you can dispute it. You can contact the lender (or collection agency) who is reporting the wrong information, the credit reporting agency that lists the mistake, or both. Asking the creditor to fix it may be the simplest approach, because if they do agree they made a mistake, they will be required to transmit the correction to all the agencies to which they report. That saves you the extra step of having to dispute it with other agencies that may be reporting the same incorrect information.

However, it’s also important to note that to protect your legal rights under federal law, you must send a written copy of your dispute to the credit reporting agencies, not just the creditor. Therefore, if you find a serious mistake or if you are having trouble getting an item corrected, make sure you also report the error directly to the credit bureau(s).

Online or By Mail?
If you ordered your reports online you will have the option of disputing it online or by mail.

Online disputes are fast and convenient; however, you may not be able to include documentation to back up your side of the story. So if you have proof that an item is wrong, you may want to send a written dispute and include the records you would like to them to review. If you do file a credit report dispute by mail, be sure to send it via certified mail and keep a copy for your records. More at How to Dispute Credit Report

You can also watch this video for more idea on How to Dispute Credit Report:

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