How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

June 30, 2020         Written By Heaven Speirs

Errors on a credit report can damage your credit score and take months to resolve. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just settled with two deed companies for improper credit reporting practices. The bureau found that Harbour Portfolio Advisors, LLC (Harbour); National Asset Advisors, LLC (NAA); and National Asset Mortgage, LLC (NAM) falsely told customers that they had to dispute errors on their credit reports with the credit bureaus, when they had the power to resolve matters on their own.

Unfortunately, issues like this happen on a daily basis. Consumers are led down the wrong path for swiftly resolving credit reporting issues. Here is a quick guide explaining how to dispute an error on your credit report.

Step 1 – Contact the Credit Bureau and the Lender

As soon as you notice the error on your credit report, contact the credit bureau and the lender that made the report to the bureau. This may be a bank, credit card agency, loan company, or another financial provider. With the credit bureau, you can either write a letter explaining the dispute or follow the bureau’s online prompts for filing a dispute. Provide as much detail as you can about the situation and why you want to dispute the issue.

The lender, also known as the furnisher, may be able to resolve the matter and retract the mark on your credit. This will be faster than an investigation from the bureau, but the bureau is more likely to work on your behalf. The furnisher has little to gain from the dispute, if anything.

Step 2 – Monitor Your Credit Report

An investigation from the credit bureau will take 30-60 days to complete. The furnisher will have 30 days to respond to the investigation, and it may take time for changes to reflect on your credit report. Check on your report after 45 days to see if the issue has been resolved. You should also monitor your mail or email account for status updates on the investigation. If you have not seen any updates after 60 days, contact the credit bureau again to review the status.

What to Do If You Lose the Dispute

If the investigation does not rule in your favor, there is still hope. Make sure you have provided the credit bureau with any information they requested on the matter. If there is an error on your end, correct it and re-submit the dispute. If there are no errors, you can request that the bureau make a note in your file regarding the dispute. This will not remove the debt, credit inquiry, or other mark on your report, but it will provide clarification for future lenders.

Improving Your Credit Score

You may find yourself looking to improve your credit if you have had financial hardships in the past. If you have been making your home utility payments on time every month you may be able to boost your credit score. Experian Boost takes your on-time utility payments and uses them to add positive history to your credit profile. Only positive payments are taken into consideration, so you won’t be penalized if you have missed a utility payment or were late. This could be the boost you need to secure better loan and credit card options.

Add your positive utility payment history to instantly increase your FICO® Score

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 30, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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heaven

About Heaven Speirs

Heaven Speirs is a contributing writer for LowCards.com. She remains up-to-date with the latest developments in the credit card industry and the financial sector as a whole. Heaven has over 10 years of experience in online journalism, the bulk of which has been focused on personal finance. Heaven attended Oklahoma State University, where she discovered her talent for research and content creation. In her spare time, Heaven enjoys painting, playing poker, and spending time with her husband and three dogs.