Have you checked your credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax and discovered errors? You can dispute items on your credit report in one of three ways: online; by fax; or by mail.
The three credit bureaus offer forms online where you can dispute items on your credit report. However, in most cases, you’ll need to provide documentation. So a letter will be in order.
You can fax or mail the letter. Just be sure not to mail original documents (make photocopies); and to keep a copy of your dispute letter.
You can find the contact information for all three credit bureaus at their respective websites or by calling the agencies.
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742, www.experian.com
- TransUnion-1-800-916-8800, www.transunion.com
- Equifax-1-800-685-1111, www.equifax.com
Reasons to Send a Dispute Letter
Some reasons you may send a credit dispute letter include:
- Factual inaccuracies: name, address, place of business, etc.
- Accounts recorded as outstanding, which are paid in full
- Reported late payments that were actually on time
- Accounts listed as open, which are now closed
- Accounts which are now closed, still listed as open
- Judgments (such as bankruptcies) which are old and should be removed from your credit file
- Payment disputes in your favor which are still recorded as being in default
Contents of a Credit Report Dispute Letter
What should a credit report dispute letter say?
Like any business correspondence, a credit report dispute letter should be concise, to-the-point, and include a call-to-action.
In this case, the call-to-action is asking the credit bureau to investigate the matter and correct the information in your credit file. Your letter will vary slightly depending on the item you are disputing and the proof you are providing.
The letter should be professional and polite. Format it as you would any business letter, with your contact information at the top.
Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter
Here is a sample credit dispute letter that you can start with and update to conform to your unique situation.
123 Street St.
City, YS 12345
Anytown, State 56789
Dear Sir or Madam:
I recently obtained a copy of my credit report from your company and found an inaccuracy, which I am disputing. Based on the proof I’m providing, I’d like [this item/these items] [deleted/corrected/updated] on my credit report immediately.
Item 1: The account [account name and account number] is reported as [in default/closed/opened]. This account is [paid in full/up-to-date with no late payments/still open/closed]. I am enclosing a copy of [list documentation enclosed].
Item 2: My credit report lists a [bankruptcy/foreclosure/account in default] dated [date listed on credit report]. This information is inaccurate. The [negative item] was discharged on [date] and should no longer be part of my credit file.
Item 3: My credit report has my [name/address/place of business] listed as [mis-spelled or inaccurate information.] It should be listed as: [correct information.] I am enclosing a photocopy of [driver’s license, birth certificate, paystub, etc.] to show the correct information. This may seem like a small matter, but potential employers’ pulling my credit file should have access to up-to-date and accurate information.
Please investigate this matter [these matters] and correct the disputed item[s] as quickly as possible and update my credit score accordingly. Please send me an updated copy of my credit report and credit score as soon as the information has been updated.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Enclosures: canceled check, credit card statement
The above sample letter is designed to dispute an account reported as being in default that has actually been paid in full.
Note that you can include as many disputed items as you want in one letter.
Be sure to separate each disputed item clearly under a new heading and include any relevant documentation for each dispute.