The Most Effective Credit Bureau Dispute Letter

If you’re looking into credit repair,  the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (FCRA) Section 611 allows for consumers to challenge questionable items on their credit reports. May it be late payments charge-offs, collections, tax liens, bankruptcies, judgments, foreclosures, or any personal identification information. Virtually any questionable negative information the credit bureaus have for you can be disputed and their deletion may result in a credit score increase.

Proof this letter works, Check out these results I’ve got for my clients! 

These are actual confirmation letters from credit bureaus confirming removal of accounts..

 

 

 

removal of 11 items with Experian dispute letter
Equifax deletions with disputes

For Victims of Identity Theft and Fraud

If you are a victim of identity theft or fraud, where someone has been fraudulently using your name to apply for and obtain accounts,  then you will need to follow this special identity theft victim procedure including filling out a sworn Identity Theft Affidavit at the Federal Trade Commission website and include it with your credit bureau disputes.

The ways to dispute with the credit bureaus: Phone, Mail, Online or Fax

Of the available ways to dispute, phone and online disputes are the most common. Experian, Equifax, and Transunion allow for you to pull a credit report directly from their websites, or from annualcreditreport.com. Those reports will provide you with a link to dispute online and also provide a phone number shall you choose to call the bureau’s customer service department instead. Phone and online disputes, although maybe the easiest ways to dispute, yet they are the least effective and reduce your chances of repairing your credit.

But First…

Watch this  video to learn

you the single most important thing to repair your credit 

 

 

 

Now lets move on to what you must not do:

 

Why you should never dispute over the phone or online

Any serious credit repair expert will tell you never to dispute over the phone or online. Why?  Consumers are at a disadvantage every time they dispute with the bureaus online or by phone. Firstly, the credit bureaus make consumers agree to innocuous sounding waivers, which in fact make clients give up their rights to re-investigation. Second, without a proper paper trail, the credit bureaus do not have to fear the threat of lawsuits. So the credit bureaus can take online and phone disputes less seriously. This means less thoroughly investigated disputes that lead to items not being deleted from the credit report. So mailed or fax dispute letters will serve you much better.

Common mistakes to avoid in dispute letters

– Do not threaten legal action of any kind, unless you have reason to do so.
– Do not dispute any positive items on your credit report, once removed they cannot be re-inserted.
– Do not dispute any inquiries linked to accounts you’ve legitimately opened, your inquiry dispute will be forwarded to the creditor, who may close the account fearing fraud.
– Do not forget to put in the entire account numbers if the same creditor is reporting multiple accounts. You do not want the wrong account disputed and deleted. Lastly, make sure not to dispute any inquiries on your credit report that resulted in an account you legitimately opened. Since once you dispute that inquiry, the credit bureaus will reach out to the creditor and notify them of your dispute. The creditor would then suspect the account was fraudulently opened and end up closing the account.

Never dispute large unpaid accounts that are within the statute of limitations

I absolutely cannot stress this enough, when trying to repair your credit,  do not dispute any legitimate debts that fell behind recently, which you cannot afford to pay off. Creditors can legally sue consumers within the statute of limitations they are allowed by the state the debtor resides in. So, do check the statute of limitation for debts in your states before disputing any large unpaid accounts. Disputing accounts which lie within the statute of limitations may incite the creditor to take legal action against you. This, however, does not pertain to items that are resulting from identity theft.

Items you can dispute with this credit bureau dispute letter

You can dispute the following items: 

Credit account related Disputes:  Charge-offs, late payments, missed payments, collections, repossessions, student loans, installment loans, auto loans, mortgage foreclosures. Virtually any account that is reporting on your credit file.

Public records: This includes, IRS tax liens, state tax liens, judgments, and bankruptcies.

Personal information: You can dispute to get removed or have the bureaus update all your personal information including your name, current address and previous addresses, your phone number, your employment information, your date of birth and SSN#.

Do not dispute recent late payments and recent collections (use these strategies instead)

Any valid recent collection (those incurred within the last 4 years) or recent late payment, especially those on open accounts are not going to come off with credit bureau disputes. For these utilize the strategies below

Recent late payments:  For recent late payments within the last 2 years or on open accounts, the only way to get these expunged is by utilizing the direct credit dispute method.

Recent Collection accounts: For recent collection accounts, which fell behind within the last 4 years that are valid, the most effective way to get these expunged is to utilize the pay for delete method, where you offer to settle the account in exchange for deletion from your credit report.


The credit bureau dispute letter

Full Name

Mailing Address:

Date of Birth

{If Sending to Experian: P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013}

{If Sending to Equifax: P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374-0256}

{If Sending to Transunion: Consumer Disputes, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016}

{Date}

RE: Investigation Request to Delete Credit Inquires

To whom it may concern,

In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act Section 611 (15 U.S.C. § 1681I), I am practicing my right to challenge questionable information that I have found on my personal credit report. I do not recognize the information listed below and request that you investigate the source of these accounts and ascertain that the creditor had a permissible purpose, and is able to verify my complete file information including full name, address, date of birth and SSN#.

INCORRECT ACCOUNT INFORMATION
The accounts below are reporting incorrectly please investigate these:

1. {Creditor Name} {ac#}          {Reason for Dispute}
2. {Creditor Name} {ac#}          {Reason for Dispute}
3. {Creditor Name} {ac#}          {Reason for Dispute}

INCORRECT CREDIT INQUIRIES
I am disputing the following inquiries which I did not authorize:

1. {Creditor Name} {inquiry date}
2. {Creditor Name} {inquiry date}

REMOVE INCORRECT PERSONAL INFORMATION
I am disputing the following personal information that is showing for me which is incorrect:

1. Incorrect SSN {xxx-xx-xx xx }
2. Incorrect Address { insert address}
3. Incorrect Name Variations { Insert name}

UPDATE PERSONAL INFORMATION
Also please update the following information which I saw your credit bureau to be missing or incomplete:

1. Personal current address {insert correct address}
2. My proper full { insert your correct full name, if the bureau has listed it incorrectly}
3. My date of birth { insert date of birth, if bureau has it listed incorrectly}
4. My current employment info { insert employer name, address and your position, if the bureau is missing this info}

I am allowing you 30 days to complete this investigation after which I authorize you to mail me my updated credit reports along with the investigation results

Truly,

{Name}

{Signature}

Instructions on how to use the credit bureau dispute letter

STEP 1: Adjust the format of the letter as you please and make some minor modifications to reflect your own voice.

STEP 2: Fill in your personal identification information

STEP 3: Following this statement you can list the erroneous personal identification information you are disputing along with a list of the questionable accounts and inquiries.
For each account, list the creditor name and the account #, along with the reason for your dispute.

STEP 4: Valid reasons for disputes could be: The Account does not belong to me. The account payment history is incorrect. The account is too old to be on the credit report.  The account was paid prior to collection. Incorrect amount. Incorrect last payment date. Incorrect Status. The account belongs to someone else with a similar name. Virtually any questionable aspect of an account can be deleted

STEP 5: What to enclose with the Credit Bureau Dispute Letter
     Photo ID: This could be any state or government issued identification
     Proof of Residency: This could be a recent utility bill, or bank statement, mortgage statement or a copy of your home rental agreement. It should show your name and current mailing address.
     Proof of SSN#: This could be any state or government document showing your SSN#. Or a page from your tax return, W-2, paystub or 1099 etc.
Any Supporting Documentation: This could include anything that could support your dispute claim, like a letter of deletion from the creditor.

STEP 6: How to Mail: These letters should be mailed out via certified mail and always save the green receipt from your records.

STEP 7:  Wait for 30 Days for the Dispute Completion: Within 30 days after receipt of the letters by the credit bureaus, you should receive the investigation results from them. The results will show what accounts were disputed and whether they were deleted, updated with new information or remain unchanged.

What to do if the bureau did not investigate or correct the report

Sometimes the bureaus may end up not sending you the investigation results, as sometimes they may deem your identification information incomplete. Regardless, they are required to investigate the items nonetheless. So, pull your credit report after about 35 days from the time you mailed out the dispute letters. Then check on each bureau if there’s been any deletions or any accounts showing a comment by them that they’re in dispute. These two indicators should let you know if the bureaus actually investigated your claim or not. If you find no indication that they bureaus investigated, refer back to your certified mail tracking information and confirm the bureaus received the letters. If they did, then you can move to lodge complaints against the bureaus, as discussed below

File regulatory complaints against the bureaus and creditors

In the event that the bureaus do not investigate or correct your credit report, then you can lodge complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at www.consumerfinance.gov. You can also lodge complaints against creditors and collection companies here.  The CFPB forwards these complaints to the party you lodge a complaint, who must respond back to the CFPB within 30 days with a resolution.  The CFPB also collects data on the number of complaints filed against each institution and may take regulatory action against them if they notice a pattern of violations.

Method of verification letter

In the event the credit bureaus do allegedly verify incorrect information on your credit report and refuse to correct it, you may exercise your right under the FCRA Section 611 (6),(7)  to request a method of verification. Here you are asking the creditors to provide you with details pertaining to how and with whom they verified the information you disputed.

The method of verification letter

All you’ll need to do is just adjust the first dispute letter you sent them and put in the following text:

“I sent your company my dispute on {Date}, which you received and investigated on. I have reason to believe that you conducted a reasonable investigation. therefore, I am invoking the Fair Credit Reporting Act Section 611 to ask that you provide me with the following information:

1. The date you contacted the creditor
2. The contact information for the creditor
3. The name of the person who verified the item to you
4. The method of communication you used to verify this information
5. Did the creditor provide you with my SSN, address, and Date of Birth?

109 thoughts on “The Most Effective Credit Bureau Dispute Letter

    1. Hi Jason, once the letters are received from the bureaus, they have about a month to respond back, but I’ve seen they complete their investigation normally within 14 days.

  1. The topic of credit requests remains for me something that is not fully understandable and complex, as I have never been able to find answers to many questions. Are you recommending that removing dispute comments is something everyone should do?

    1. Hi Heather, you should, by all means, remove dispute comments if they are on showing on accounts with a positive history. As for the comments showing up on any negative accounts, remove those only if a lender asks you to as part of conditions for an approval.

      Howe this answers your questions

  2. I have tried several times to dispute a collection account with a credit bureau but it hasn’t helped , the account is from 2017 from a doctors visit, what other options do I have ?

      1. I can not thank you enough for the information you’ve provided to people, like myself, who are simply are unaware on the proper procedures to utilize when dealing with the credit bureaus and/or businesses in regard to dealing with inaccurate information, or those of us who may have went through a difficult time, and want nothing more than to repair our credit – but simply aren’t sure which is the best course of action to take. I’ve been up all night thoroughly reading and taking notes on every bit of information you’ve provided. Knowledge is power – I can’t thank you enough!

  3. I was trying to get approved for business financing and they turned me down due to excessive inquiries. Will credit bureau disputes work for those?

  4. Hi Mr. Zane, I had a fraudulent charge-off showing on my credit report , would these letters work for that and any other special instructions I need to follow?

    1. HI Nicole yes those could work but you’ll need to file reports of the fraud incident reports with the local police and the FTC online as well, and send those reports to the bureaus along with those filed reports

  5. Hello Ali, I’ve already disputed online before with the credit bureaus, can I redispute again ?

    1. Hi Johanne, thanks for sharing and reaching out. Yes, you can I would recommend waiting at least 30 days after a dispute has been completed and then disputing. The bureaus can legally turn down your dispute if you do not wait a month after the completion of prior disputes. I would also recommend disputing the address linked to the particular questionable accounts to ensure a higher deletion rate.

    1. Hi Kyra, fax disputes are fine as long as you get a delivery confirmation , which is key. We need to have proof that the disputes were delivered in the event the credit bureaus need to be taken to task for non-compliance.

  6. Hi Ali , I have a late payment on my Capital One account, I’ve already disputed online, will this letter be helpful?

  7. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today for credit repair help and am really glad I came across this letter.
    I wanted to ask how frequently can this letter be used

    1. Hi Jerry, the bureaus can turn down your request to investigate if you do not wait 30 days after the completion of a prior dispute. In other words wait at least 60 odd days after you send in a dispute to send in another one

  8. Hello, my credit report is mixed with my dad who’s got a similar name, his accounts are showing on my credit report, can I utilize this letter to fix the problem ?
    Thanks for you help

    1. Hi Donald this is a common problem, to answer your question, add a paragraph on top of the letter, stating you have a merged file, and clearly state your dad’s name and dob as well as yours, if you know your dad’s ssn, put that in there too and tell them to “unmerge” the two files. The bureaus think that both you and your dad are the same person, so they need to be given evidence that you are not.

      This should fix the problem

    1. HI Gregory, that’s not recommended, a block would only stop someone from accessing your credit report, and not keep a creditor from reporting .

  9. Hello, I’ve tried disputing multiple times with Experian and they refuse to remove a frivolous Bank of America mortgage account from the credit report, what options do I have?

    1. Hi James, try lodging a complaint against Experian and against Bank of America with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at consumerfinance.gov, this should do the trick

  10. Woo hoo!! Got 4 of my negative accounts deleted using this letter for Equifax, thanks so much for sharing this information Ali !!

  11. Excellent article. I certainly loved all the info you shared. Continue the
    good fight against the credit Bureaus !

  12. It’s hard to come by educated people in this particular subject of disputes, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks for spreading the knowledge

  13. Thanks Ali for the all the info, for my case I have 3 late payments with two different credit cards and about 13 hard inquiries how do i go about disputing these?

  14. Hi,

    I sent my dispute letters to the Credit Reporting Agencies certified mail. I have not received anything from the Agencies but, I received a letter from the collections consumer. Why did I receive a letter from the collections costumer and not the credit reporting agencies? The letter stated I didn’t provide enough information and they couldn’t investigate it. I clearly put on the letter that I wanted the original contract. What do I do next? send a second letter?

  15. Hi!!

    Which method would you recommend? I have two negative accounts on my credit report. One is a student loan, which I let default [after believing it was still in deferment] in 2016. Once I received the default letter, I immediately worked with the collection agency and started a loan forgiveness program where if I paid 9 consecutive on-time payments, in good grace they would remove my default status. I then set up automatic payments to the collection agency (and not the loan servicer) and completed that program. But during those 9 months of making the on-time payments, they all were marked LATE past 120 days. What’s the best way to go about disputing those late payments and have them updated? Is it possible to remove that account all together???

    The second negative item on my credit report is an old Verizon account (from either 2013 or 2014). I let my account fall behind and my service was cancelled. Back then when I received my final bill, I saw a bogus equipment fee of $1200+ after returning all equipment. My credit wasn’t much of a concern to me as much as it is now so I said to myself there’s absolutely no way I’m paying them so I left it alone. Since then, a collection agency bought that account and is reporting on my credit report (since 2016). Any advice on getting that account removed off my credit report all together? What would be the best way of accomplishing that? I don’t know the exact date this account will age off because the collection agent states 2016 as the original date on my credit report (although I haven’t had Verizon since either 2013 or 2014).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂 Thank you.

    (From New York)

    1. Hi Charlene, for the student loans write to the CEO of the student loan company and ask they remove the late payments, given you were in a rehab program and lates should ahve been removed.

      For Verizon, you’ll need to file .a regulatory complaint against them, try the public utilities exchange or the BBB even

      Hope this info helps

  16. Greetings Ali , my husband and I are looking to purchase a home and need our score increased asap, what can we do to expedite this ?

    1. Hi Chaussure, yes sometimes we may need to look into more advanced options, reach out to me through the website and do let me have a look at your report, I’ll see what I can help with

  17. Thanks your letter worked, I’ve been disputing a few accounts on my credit report for almost 2 years now, and today the last agency responded. All accounts were either corrected or removed. Thanks again.

  18. Hey Mr. Zane, Whats the best way to get the dispute handled by a human and not the eoscar automated way?? Ive heard stapleing a lot helps and adding several pages to the letter so it takes longer to go thru. Thanks for the reply bud

  19. If I have multiple closed accounts (6) on my credit report that are extremely past the States Statue of limitations ( one from 1999 ) would this letter work to help me start the process of removing them from my credit report? Thank you for your advice

    1. hi Jacqui, this is exactly what it’s for.
      Keep in mind the 7 year statute begins from the time of last payment. And the statute does not apply to any govt of state owed debt, like student loans, child suport etc, these don’t have a statute

  20. I’m in a debt settlement program regarding 4 credit cards. One has been paid, one is being paid, and the other two are still being negotiated. It has dropped my fixo score 200 points. I have no other debts and recently paid off my mortgage when I sold and moved out of state (also not helping my credit) I acquired a secured credit card to begin rebuilding. Is there anything a letter would help me with? The paid off credit card shows on my report as zero balance and the other 3 show as charge offs.

    1. Hi Michelle, normally disputes are not effective for valid accounts that are unpaid, so once these accounts are paid off, then only would the creditor have no incentive left to verify and you’re better off disputing then.

  21. Could you please advise if the statute of limitations goes by the state you lived in at the time the debt was incurred, or the state you currently live in? For example, if you had an unpaid medical bill while living in California which has been turned into the credit bureau, but are now currently living in Minnesota? A four year statute of limitations, vs a six year, respectively.

    My sincerest thank you for all the information you provide – absolutely priceless!!

  22. I just verified through my states attorney general’s office that a couple collection agencies that have entries on my credit reports for old debts are
    not even licensed. The original debt occurred in my state. Any suggestions on how to proceed?

  23. I’ve run into an issue with Cap One, who’s unwilling to remove their listing. How long will this take ?

  24. Hi,

    Any recommendation for disputing about 12 late payments (120 day lates) on three cards? This happened in early 2016 (just shy of the 4 year mark), and I settled each one for less and it is closed. I tried to buy my first home and these lates are making it impossible to get the loan I need. Since they are almost 4 years old, would you go straight to the credit bureau and dispute them? Any good dispute reasons? I just didn’t have any money to pay them at the time. Thanks and I love your site.

    1. Hi Maria, yes, you’re better off just disputing the account and see what happens.
      If you see that each of the 3bureaus are reporting different late payment dates, then you can try to dispute the accounts under the incorrect payment history
      If they don’t come off with the dispute, then let me know and I can step in for some advanced intervention.
      Hope this helps

  25. Thanks Ali for the quick response. Sorry I am not clear on the response. Do I need to explicitly contact equifax to remove the remark even though the dispute is resolved?

    1. Sorry I misread your question earlier. Pull the latest credit report from Equifax to see if they’ve removed the account already.
      If they haven’t then put in a dispute with equifax

  26. No Problem and Thanks Ali. So once the dispute is resolved equifax should remove the comment automatically correct ?. My dispute was resolved yesterday. I still see the comment in equifax report. So should I wait for few more days to reflect the same in equifax report? or do you want me to contact equifax?
    Thanks once again for your help.

  27. Ali, this is the problem. My husband passed away 3 years age this Sept. I just found out that the home mortgage has not been reporting to the credit bureaus that I have been making the monthly payments. My husband’s name was first on the loan and mine was the second. I have talked the the mortgage company and I have to send a written letter to dispute this issue. will your letter help me with this

    1. Hi Shelia, so saddened to hear about your loss. My thoughts and best wishes are with you.
      As for the mortgage, first, find out if your name was on the loan, and not just title.
      One way to find out is if the mortgage statements reflect your name.
      Next if you’re dealing with a small mortgage company, unlike chase or boa etc, you want to find out if the mortgage company reports accounts they service to the credit bureaus.
      Alot of smaller mortgage companies don’t even report, but the larger banks do.

      Finally, you can lodge a complaint at http://www.consumerfinance.gov against the mortgage company, and someone at the mtg company’s higher management will communicate through you via the CFPB to resolve the issue

  28. Hello Mr Zane,

    First off, thank you for sharing your valuable expertise in this area. It serves as a tremendous benefit to the public. My question relates to a collection item on my account. A utility company in NC sent me to collections for a final balance owed. I was not aware they would assess this charge. I moved to CA and received no past due or late notices. No mail, phone calls or emails were received. I didn’t realize there was an issue until I saw my credit score tank. I foolishly paid off the utility without negotiation in an attempt to have this removed. It did not get deleted and still remains as a detriment to my credit. Do I have any recourse besides waiting for 4-7 years?

  29. Hello, I called experian to have my dispute comments removed from credit report. They had no problem removing them, however, there is a section on my credit report called “reinvestigation information” and it states “this item was updated from our processing of your dispute in January 2019”. I called experian back to tell them about it and they said that this was just referencing an old dispute but does not count as a dispute remark and should not prevent me from getting a mortgage. Is this true? He also said that this information could not be removed.

  30. I live in apartments building for 5years and after I move out they send me to collection for 1400 for nonsense (fixing stuff, carpet cleaning, trash)and they even keep my deposit…will this letter help me get that off my credit

    1. See my post above to your prior question.

      if the debt is within the statute, you’d probably need to file a complaint with the Dept of Justice against the landlord

  31. and I have one closed account who still reporting with interest on my credit each month ,will this still work on it too??

    1. Hi Vincent Depends on how old the account is, look up the statute of limitations for debts in your state. If it’s within the statute then disputes won’t help and only settling would

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Yelp Rating
5.0