Sending a credit dispute letter is one way to contest inaccurate information on a credit report. Such a letter basically outlines the problem, explains why the info in question is inaccurate and requests a correction. And it can be sent to a credit bureau or the company that provided the bureau the flawed info.
Credit dispute letters are most common with disputes filed by mail. But you can also send one to accompany a dispute filed online or over the phone. That is a particularly good idea if you have documentation proving there’s a mistake.
Not just any old letter will do, though. A credit dispute letter must contain certain pieces of key information, including your:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Telephone Number
- Credit Report Confirmation Number (Equifax Only)
- Account Numbers for Affected Loans & Lines of Credit
- Dates Relevant to the Disputed Item
- Evidence of the Inaccuracy, If Any
Once you have the necessary info, actually writing and sending your dispute letter will be a breeze. That’s especially true since you can just edit WalletHub’s template. You can check it out below, followed by some additional guidelines and tips to ensure a successful dispute.
Credit Dispute Letter Template
For your convenience, here is a credit dispute letter template that includes all the necessary info. You can customize the [items in brackets] to suit your needs.
|Your Full Name
Report Confirmation Number (Equifax only)
Date of Birth
Name of Credit Bureau
Address of Credit Bureau
Dear [Bureau Name]:
For you convenience, I have circled the issue(s) in question on the attached copy of my credit report.
Credit dispute letters are great because you can both include evidence and use certified mail to get confirmation of delivery. So they’re a valuable tool even if you decide to dispute an inaccuracy by phone or online.
Reasons to Send a Credit Dispute Letter
You can’t dispute everything on a credit report, at least not successfully. So before sending a credit dispute letter, make sure you know what’s what.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can and cannot dispute on a credit report:
|What You Can Dispute||What You Can’t Dispute (Successfully)|
|Inaccurate personal information||Accurate information|
|Erroneous payment history||Negative information that is less than 7-10 years old (assuming it’s accurate)|
|Duplicate or fraudulent accounts/public records||Info|
|Negative information from accounts you we an authorized user on||Info|
For more information, check out WalletHub’s complete guide on disputing credit report errors.
Dispute Letter Tips & Key Info
You don’t want to accidentally sabotage your chances of getting inaccurate information removed from your credit report, or at least corrected. So it’s important to remind yourself of these key points during the process.
- Don’t include original documents in your credit dispute letter. Send photocopies and keep the originals for your records.
- You don’t need to reference legal obligations. This is especially true with the credit bureaus. They know what’s required of them in terms of investigating and correcting mistakes.
- You should hear back within 45 days. A credit bureau is generally required to complete its investigation within 45 days. But the process usually takes a couple weeks. If you don’t receive any word within a month and a half, you may want to call the credit bureau(s) for a status update.
- You have the right to “suppress” / “block” inaccurate info from identity theft. In short, this prevents it from reappearing on your report once removed.
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