Sample Credit Letters for Creditors and Debt Collectors

Created by Derek Abella © The Balance 2019 

When you have a complaint or dispute with a creditor, lender, credit bureau, or debt collector, it's best to communicate in writing. Many disputes are time sensitive and a letter, especially when sent via certified mail with a return receipt request, gives you a timestamp to track the business' response time. In some cases (as with a credit card billing error dispute), you must send a letter to protect your rights.

Here are seven sample letters you can customize and send to handle tough issues like billing statement errors, credit report disputes, and debt validation requests.

Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter

You have ​the right to an accurate credit report. If you find an error on your credit report, for example, an account that doesn't belong to you, send a dispute letter to the bureau who provided that credit report. The credit bureau generally has to investigate within 30 to 45 days.

Sample Cease and Desist Letter

A cease and desist letter will stop calls from debt collectors.The letter informs the collector that you no longer wish to be contacted. You don't have to admit to anything or promise to pay later (you probably shouldn't do either of these anyway), just state that you want to contact to end.

The cease and desist letter only applies to a specific debt collector, so you will have to send another one if a new collector takes over that debt or you have debts with multiple debt collectors. You can also use a cease and desist letter to stop wrong number collection calls.

Sample Debt Validation Letter

Within the first 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector, you can dispute the validity of the debt and request the collector send you proof that the debt is actually yours. Once the debt collector receives your written validation request, they have to cease collection efforts until they've provided you with proof of the debt.

Sample Letter for Cancelling a Credit Card

You can close a credit card over the phone, but following up with a letter provides confirmation that you requested the account closed at a certain date. The letter might come in handy if there's a future discrepancy over when your account was closed or that you requested your account closed at all.

Sample Pay for Delete Letter

A "pay for delete" letter is an offer to a creditor or debt collector to remove a negative credit report entry in exchange for payment. You can make an offer over the phone, but a signed letter from the creditor or collector is solid proof that an agreement was made.

Sample Expired Statute of Limitations Letter

The statute of limitations doesn't relieve your obligation to pay a debt, and it doesn't stop collectors from trying to get you to pay. (It instead limits the time that debt is legally enforceable.)

You can customize this sample credit letter and send it to debt collectors who continue to attempt collections on a debt that has an expired statute of limitations.

Be careful that you don't say anything in your letter that could restart the statute of limitations. Even acknowledging that you owe the debt can restart the clock, giving the collector more time to sue you.

Sample Billing Error Dispute Letter

Many people instinctively call their credit card issuer when they spot a billing error. It's a quicker way to get errors cleared up because the credit card issuer can start investigating right away.

But, a written billing error dispute letter is necessary if you want the card issuer to abide by the Fair Credit Billing Act. The law requires creditors to investigate your dispute as long as your letter is sent within a specific timeframe. It also allows you to withhold payment for the disputed amount while the investigation is underway.

Tips for Sending Sample Credit Letters

Letters are a powerful tool to use in communicating with creditors, debt collectors, and other businesses. Keep in mind that thousands or even millions of people may be using the same letter templates as you. Customize sample credit letters when necessary to fit your circumstances.