The information in your credit report has a significant impact on your life. It affects your ability to get approved for credit cards and loans, including a mortgage and auto loan. It's important to make sure that your credit report contains only accurate and current information.
You should check your credit report a minimum of once a year to verify the information in it. If you find errors, you have the right to dispute them with the credit bureau.
While you're allowed to dispute credit report errors online, you may prefer to dispute by mail. Writing a letter to dispute credit report information gives you a record of your dispute that you can use if you later have to file a lawsuit against the credit bureau. For example, you may be able to sue a collector who fails to update your credit report or who does not correct your information within the time frame outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
No worries if you're not quite sure the best way to phrase a credit report dispute letter. We've included a sample credit report dispute letter that you can send to credit bureaus. Use this letter to request an update to or removal of inaccurate information on your credit report.
Be sure to customize the letter for your unique situation by replacing the bold statements with your information.
Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter
Your Address, City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number and Email
Name of Company
Credit Bureau Address
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam:
I recently obtained a copy of my credit report from your agency and found the following item to be in error:
Item 1: I dispute the unpaid balance on [ABC credit card] account number . This account has been paid in full as of [date].
I am requesting that the item be [removed, updated, or other suggested change] to correct the information.
Enclosed are copies of [use this statement if you have bank statements, canceled checks, or other documentation] supporting my position. Please investigate this matter and (delete or correct) the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.
Enclosures: [List the documents you are enclosing. If none, do not include this section].
Where to Send Your Dispute Letter
Be sure you're sending your dispute to the right credit bureau (whichever one issued the report you're trying to correct). The addresses of each of the three major bureaus are:
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
Tips for Sending Your Credit Report Dispute
When you send a credit report dispute, make sure to keep a copy of the letter for your records. You can also include any proof you have that supports your dispute. For instance, you can send a copy of a cashed check or a statement from your lender proving that you actually made a payment on time. Send copies of your proof and keep the originals for yourself.
It can be helpful to include a copy of your credit report with the disputed information circled so the credit bureau can easily identify the information you're disputing.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit bureaus typically have 30 days to investigate your dispute and respond to you. To track the time accurately, send your letter via certified mail. You'll have proof of the date you mailed the dispute letter and you'll be able to track the time the credit bureau receives your letter.
You might also consider sending the letter with a return receipt request. A representative from the credit bureau signs the return receipt and it's mailed back to you, giving you additional proof that your dispute was received.
- Customize the sample dispute letter to fit the information you're disputing.
- Include copies of any proof you have to support your dispute.
- Send your dispute letter to the bureau via certified mail so you have proof of its receipt.