How can a credit report have mistakes?
This is typically could be a result of The person applied for credit under different names for example Richard Smith, Rick Smith, Ricky Smith etc Someone made a mistake when entering the information in a computer from a hand written application. Same applies for a social security that was possibly misread or mis entered by the lender. Or when you received a replacement card sometimes the payment gets applied to the wrong account and therefore showing up as a late payment. The bottom line is we are human and mistakes are made, However they must be corrected.
Credit Repair Disputes
Consumers dispute items all the time whether they use a credit repair company or not. Once a dispute process is completed or at the end of the 30 days, the disputed information can be deleted or reaffirmed by the creditor. Credit is not like a court of law in which your are innocent until proven guilty, it is quite the opposite.The creditor can simply confirm that the information is correct or that it is not.
There are many instances in which a creditor fails to respond in time. The information comes off your credit report, however the creditor, if he responds later, can respond and reinstate the information. Typically the chances that a creditor will respond are much higher if they are still looking to get paid. Accounts that are erroneous with a zero balance are not as motivated to respond in a timely manner.
Individuals can file disputes directly themselves, free of any charges, with the credit bureaus. To assure your dispute gets addressed as quickly as possible. Contact both the credit bureau and the company or organization that provided the information. They are both responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.
Notify The Credit Bureaus
Notify the credit bureau as to what information is believed to be inaccurate. They must investigate the questionable items within a reasonable time, usually 30 days, unless they consider your dispute to be frivolous, so be sure to backup your dispute with documentation that supports your claim. Do not send original documents only copies. Provide them with your contact information and your letter should clearly state and identify all the items you are disputing in your report. Correlate them to your backup documentation. Clearly mark or highlight the disputed and/or correct information in your letter. Remember you can not go wrong including as much documentation as possible to support your claims. Explain the facts and why you are disputing this information. Finally request that the wrong information be deleted or corrected.
Send your letter via certified mail and return receipt requested, you want to make sure they receive it and that you have proof they did. By all means make copies of everything you send as you sent it Do the same for the organization or creditor.
Sample Dispute Letter
This Sample Credit report dispute letter is put out by the FTC, feel free to use it.
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. I have circled the items I dispute on the attached copy of the report I received.
This item [identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.] is [inaccurate or incomplete] because[describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why]. I am requesting that the item be removed [or request another specific change] to correct the information.
Enclosed are copies of [use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records and court documents] supporting my position. Please reinvestigate this[these] matter[s] and [delete or correct] the disputed item[s] as soon as possible.
Enclosures: [List what you are enclosing.]
Here are the Bureaus Numbers;
• 404‐885‐8000 Equifax
• 888‐397‐3742 for Experian
• 800‐916‐8800 for Trans Union
You may need to be a bit patient holding on the phone, and persistent when asking to have this done in a matter of days
Your objective is “NEED TO REMOVE DISPUTE VERBIAGE” on these trade lines (disputed lines/items) is the specific request that you must make.
You can dispute your Credit report with the credit bureaus online here.
online dispute for Transunion
online dispute for Equifax
Online Dispute for Experian
When you dispute a charge, keep in mind that the FCRA gives you certain rights, including:
- the right to have your dispute investigated, and
- the right to be notified of the results of the investigation
The company has 30 days to accomplish both steps. That’s because you need to know whether your information has been corrected so you can make informed decisions on how to proceed.
Does Disputing Credit Help in Getting a Mortgage?
Lets say its a bit complicated, just a bit. Lets break it down a bit.
- Conventional – FNMA – No disputed accounts are allowed. it is seen as masking the TRUE credit score or profile. you will be required to remove the disputes or use manual Underwriting. or prove the information is indeed erroneous. Please note that the underwriting approach and the proving approach are both tough avenues.
- Conventional – Freddie Mac – Possibly one or two accounts are allowed to be under disputed status. If trade history is not derogatory.
- FHA –– Disputed accounts with zero balances OK
– Disputed accounts medical – OK
– Disputed accounts combined with balances under $1,000 OK
» Otherwise Manual Underwrite (should avoid)
» Or PROVE info is erroneous (tough)