Your credit score impacts many aspects of your life, including employment, housing, insurance and finances. Credit bureaus compile your score based on information contained in your credit report. When your report contains inaccurate information, your score reflects that inaccurate information. Disputing -- and removing -- inaccurate information often brings your score back up. The Fair Credit Reporting Act outlines the rules and regulations for disputing inaccuracies on your credit file. It does not specify a limit on the number of times you may dispute your credit file.
All three credit reporting agencies -- TransUnion, Equifax and Experian -- offer an online process for submitting disputes and reviewing results. You purchase your credit report, or get it free from annualcreditreport.com. On the credit report is a button that allows you to submit a dispute on the item at which you are looking. According to Fox Business, you may want to bypass the online dispute process and submit your dispute in writing. Online disputes may include a waiver removing the reporting bureau’s liability in posting inaccurate information on your report. The credit reporting agency has 30 days to investigate your claim and provide the resolution. If the inaccuracy is removed, you get a new credit report showing the removal. When the CRA affirms the inaccuracy, nothing is removed, and you receive notice.
Statement of Dispute
If you do not get the desired result, you may submit a statement of dispute. The CRA allows you to attach a statement on your credit report stating you dispute the item, along with the reason. When your credit report is pulled, the statement of dispute appears with the account in question.
When the creditor affirms inaccurate information, you may want to go to the source. Contact the creditor with your proof to get the information removed. If the creditor continues to report inaccurate information, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB works with the credit reporting bureaus to resolve disputes. You receive a tracking number and can view the process being made on your complaint.
You may dispute the same item multiple times if necessary to remove the inaccuracy. Make sure you submit proof of the inaccuracy with the dispute to improve the odds of removal. After several attempts, you may want to consult an attorney, who may be able to file a civil suit against the parties inaccurately reporting information to fix your credit report.