Credit Dispute Letter: What Is It and Do They Work?
Writing a credit dispute letter becomes necessary when a credit report from any of three major consumer credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, isn’t correct. The essence of a credit dispute letter is to rectify a false financial statement.
Why Crosscheck a Credit Report?
A report is meant to be reviewed by the recipient, and the credit report is not an exception. Though we expect credit reports to be 100% accurate, this is not always the case. To make sure that every detail is correct, you’re advised to verify the credit report personally.
According to a report by the federal trade commission (FTC), around 21% of a representative group of US consumers noticed a “valid material error” in at least one of the credit reports presented by the three major credit reporting bureaus.
Going by FTC stats as mentioned earlier, we’d not be wrong by stating that a significant percentage of credit reports aren’t in line with your original transactions. Additionally, you don’t want to take any chances because a bad credit report lowers your credit score, which in turn reduces your chances of getting the right home loan.
Note: a credit dispute letter is not the same as a debt dispute letter.
What Do You Say in a Credit Dispute Letter?
Credit bureau workers often get straight to the point due to the nature of their job. When you write a credit discord letter, you have to make it detailed, but brief (no long stories).
The first thing you’re expected to do when writing a credit dispute letter is to identify your TransUnion credit dispute. It’s not as easy as it sounds, because all credit bureaus store almost every citizen’s data. Then, you’ll have to present the data backing up your claims, and lodge your complaints in an explanatory manner to avoid confusion.
After stating your claims and providing the evidence, request for immediate correction of the credit report errors.
Below are the items needed to write credit discord letters that work;
- Your details (name, DOB, contact info, and account number)
- The credit bureau’s contact address
- A brief and detailed description of the error (no long stories)
- Files that prove your point (s) such as, payment records, court documents, or receipts (include these documents with your claims while writing the credit dispute letter)
- Your requests that want the bureau to consider, investigate, and rectify.
- A printed copy of your personal credit report with the mistake emphasized, circled, or highlighted.
- A scanned copy of a valid government-issued ID card, and a bill or any document that contains your address.
Sample Credit Dispute Letter
The credit dispute letter provided below is a sample letter to remove items from a credit report, and is not connected to anyone living or deceased.
District 1 1656 Union Street Eureka 707-445-6600
P.O. Box 3700 Eureka, CA 95502
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
April 16, 2019
To whom it may concern:
I’m writing to bring notice to an error I discovered on my TransUnion credit report (account number 5890-10001).
Date of the item you’re reporting: (fill in the date here)
Short dispute description (explain your claims, as outlined above)
Enclosure – Describe the attached evidence, like the highlighted Credit report or past receipts.
Kindly rectify this error (state the mistakes) in my credit report.
Thanks for your help.
(Add your name and sign here)
Want to learn how to compose a credit dispute letter – advanced method? Research the topic for a professional outline.
Can Disputing Hurt Your Credit?
When writing a credit dispute letter, it’s wise to ask, “Will this credit dispute letter hurt my credit score?”
Fortunately, the answer is, “Of course not.”
Filing a credit altercation letter has no negative impact on your credit score. The only record would be the notification signifying that your account data is in active dispute.
Although the notification isn’t considered harmful, your future lenders might seek to know the reason for the dispute. The highest consequence is a delay, meaning that the credit company might ask you to resolve the dispute before further financial proceedings.
Contact your credit card company for more details in regard to the procedure for disputed charges on your account.
Some companies require their clients to keep making payments on the disputed amount during the investigation. Further, failure to comply may result in your account being tagged as delinquent (a delinquent account is an account whose owner has not been able to make at least the minimum monthly payment by the dust date).
Do Credit Dispute Letters Work? – Conclusion
If written correctly, credit dispute letters do work. Within 30 days or less, your credit report can be rectified if any errors are found on the document.
According to the fair credit reporting act, “Every US citizen has the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your dispute is frivolous.”
In cases where your letter wasn’t attended to, it’s advisable to resend the request. If the same thing happens again, please contact your lawyer.
Published April 20, 2019, UPDATED May 17, 2019.