How To Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

Its important to first obtain a credit report to understand exactly what your credit history looks like.  Whether you are a college student, working adult, or unemployed, you must seek to obtain a credit report.  Every month, details of your credit history are being sent out to three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Errors in Credit Reports

Many times, there will be errors in credit reports.  Problems range from mistaken late payments to payments not made by you or even identify theft.  Its important to always check and guard against identity theft online.  Whether you are buying a home, applying for a job, or getting a new credit card, banks will always be using your credit history to determine whether they decline or approve you.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

You are allowed once per year to receive a free report and you have the right to dispute errors in order to have them removed from your credit report.  This is to ensure that everyone has an accurate and up to date credit report since credit history is one of the most important form of identity check.

Obtain a Free Credit Report

Its important to obtain a free credit report.  There are many ways for you to do this.  A free annual credit report is available through  If youve been turned down for a job due to your credit report, or you are currently unemployed and looking for one, or you are dependent on government welfare, or the victim of identity theft, you are allowed to receive a free credit report online.  Its possible depending on where you live, you may be allowed one additional free credit report per year.

Cost for Obtaining a Credit Report

You may have to obtain a credit report directly from the bureau.  This may cost you anywhere from $10 to $20.  Beware of free trial scams and other schemes that may simply bill you more than you ask for.  Use our website to look up reviews before you try any product.  All products on our website have been vouched as safe and reliable.  Learn more about how to obtain a credit report.

Each credit bureau will report a different credit score.  Its important to examine each report to see the difference in detail and statements.  Although it may seem like a tedious task, this is something that you should do at least once every three months to ensure accuracy.

Anything that doesnt look right, circle it in red with a pen.

How To Dispute Items on Your Credit Report

You can dispute any charges on your credit card but simply disputing unnecessary ones will just cause delay.  You must only dispute items that meet the following requirements:

  • Inaccurate creditor you never interacted with
  • Inaccurate credit limit/loan amount or account balance
  • Inaccurate account activity
  • Payments inaccurately deemed late

Bankruptcy can remain up to ten years on your credit card statement.  Anything older than seven years, you can also dispute.

How To File Your Credit Card Dispute

There are three methods for filing a credit card dispute: by mail, over the phone, or online.  In order to dispute a charge, you must have a credit report from the credit bureau you will be disputing with.   Its important to have a credit report within the last month, as they will ask you the reference number.  Its best to do the dispute by mail since you will have a hard slip confirmation that you successfully won your dispute. recommends the borrower to lodge their dispute by mail.  This creates a hard paper trail with exact dates which can later be used in court if needed.  Credit Bureaus have to respond within 30 days to investigate credit card disputes and if not, they can be sued in court for up to $1,000.

In your letter, you must explain the information you feel is inaccurate, along with the reason why you feel its inaccurate.  Its best to send your letter through certified mail so you can have a receipt and confirmation of delivery.  Mark when you send out the letter on your calender to keep track of how much time has passed.

Other Items Requiring Proof

If there is an error with any factual information about your identity including: address, name, date of birth, or social security number:

  • You can send a scan of your drivers license, recently billed statement, or social security card to fix the factual error.
  • You can also show proof of a cancelled check to show that payment was made on time.
  • You can also show a recent billing statement showing your newly raised credit limit.
 After you send additional proof, the amount of time the credit bureau has to respond is an additional 15 days in addition to the 30 days they have.

Result of Credit Dispute

If youre lucky, the credit bureau will immediately delete the offending information, and you can continue onto the next item on the list.  They may do further verification and if they deem the information to be accurate they could re-instate it.  If they do, they will notify you by writing.

Within 30 days of you sending in a letter, they will respond to you in writing the result of their examination.  Evidence of inaccuracies will be forwarded to the offending agency, and correspondence will be made from the offending agency back to the credit bureau.

After they are finished, you will get the full details of the results along with an updated credit report with the dispute removed.  Double check to make sure the disputed item is gone.

You are allowed to require the credit bureau to send a correction notice to anyone who has requested or accessed your credit history during the past six months.

How To Remove The Most Difficult Items On Your Credit Report

The things we prior mentioned are easy to remove since they are private matters.  Once something becomes public, it becomes difficult to remove it and requires professional help.  The following items are difficult to remove:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Repossession
  • Lawsuit Judgement
  • Loan Default (including student loan defaults)
Even if they are legitimately inaccurate, you may have difficulty removing them.  Its imperative you remove these since they can become very costly in the long run resulting thousands of dollars of damages.  You can work with the court directly to have these items removed in order to update your credit report to be more accurate.  We dont suggestion you try to do this alone.  You may need the help of a third party. recommends Lexington Law for credit repair help.
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