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Q: I recently disputed a charge on my credit report and was told it would be removed, but I’m still waiting for this to happen. How long does it take?
A: This should take not longer than 30-60 days. The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate your claims. They will contact the company who provided the information in question and ask for proof. If they cannot verify the information, the credit bureau must remove it. After this 30 days, they will send you the results of their investigation, and a new credit report if the inaccurate item was removed. If the bureau confirms that this information is accurate, they do not have to send you your credit report, since it did not change.
Even if the investigation does not come out how you hoped, you can still ask the credit agency to place a record of the dispute in your file. This may sway creditors who later look at your file (although paying down your debt with regular, on-time payments will sway them more). You can also have the credit bureau send corrected copies of your report to anyone who has received a copy in the past 6 months. If your credit card company raised your interest rate after seeing your credit report, this may help.
After your credit report is corrected, it may take a month or two for your credit score to go back up, but it will eventually. You should also check your credit reports with the other credit bureaus (the three main ones are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to make sure that they do not contain false information also. If you are not in a rush to clear your report, wait a couple of months before checking your other credit reports—the company who provided the false information should have sent the corrected information to the other bureaus, and this will save you a lot of time instead of correcting three credit reports.