The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you the right to dispute inaccurate and incomplete information that appears on your credit report.
You will need to examine your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax and Experian. You can request a copy of your credit report from each bureau directly or go to annualcreditreport.com. Determine which negative items you will be disputing. Once you have reviewed your credit report, it is time to submit your disputes.
The easiest way to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report is online. The credit reporting agencies should have a link for you to submit your dispute. Usually within 45 days, you will receive a response either by email or by written letter notifying you of any negative items that have been removed or that the items have been verified as accurate.
If some negative items were not removed and you do not agree with their determination, you will have to take a few extra steps if you want your dispute to be reconsidered. You will need to call the credit-reporting agency and ask the representative what was the method of verification.
If the representative tells you that they used a third party verification service or that they verified the information through the original creditor, ask for the name and phone number of the person or company that provided the information.
Contact the third party verification service or the creditor and ask for physical verification of your account. They will most likely not be able to produce such proof because many times the records are turned over to the collection agency.
Always ask for the name of the person that you are speaking with, their direct phone number or extension, the name of their supervisor and the supervisors direct phone number and extension. KEEP GOOD DOCUMENTATION.
If the creditor happens to send you proof, review the documentation carefully. If the records are not conclusive, contact the credit-reporting agency and explain that the creditor has no records available. Request to the credit-reporting agency that they open a new credit dispute file. Provide them with the name and phone number of the person to whom you spoke with.
They will give you a new investigation number. Again, you must KEEP GOOD DOCUMENTATION.
Allow the credit reporting agency another 30 days to get back to you regarding your new dispute. If the credit-reporting agency refuses to cooperate, you're going to have to get tough.
Inform them that you will sue for willful non-compliance under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If they continue to refuse, submit your request Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested along with an intent to sue letter.
If you have written proof the negative item is invalid, submit the documentation to the credit-reporting agency and demand that the negative item be removed immediately. Be sure to send this request Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested. Credit reporting agencies and creditors can be very stubborn. Some believe that they can use their enormous corporate size to intimidate and push consumers around.
If you find yourself in such a situation, we recommend that you hire a reputable credit repair company. You have the right to dispute negative items on your credit report. Don't let yourself be intimidated.