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Step-By-Step Guide: How to Submit a Credit Dispute and Improve Your Credit Score


Having good credit is now more important than ever! Although you may not like your credit history, it is important that it is accurate.  Late or delinquent payments can stay on your credit report for 7 years!! Make sure your credit score isn’t doing time, for someone else’s “crime”

 

Step 1: Obtain Your Credit Report

Before you can dispute any inaccuracies, you need to know what's on your credit report. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Visit annualcreditreport.com to request your reports. Carefully review each report for any errors or inaccuracies.

 

Step 2: Identify the Inaccuracies

Once you have your credit reports in hand, scrutinize them for any discrepancies. Common inaccuracies include incorrect personal information, accounts that don't belong to you, duplicate accounts, and inaccurate account statuses or payment histories. Make a note of each discrepancy to include in your dispute.

 

Step 3: Gather Supporting Documents

To strengthen your dispute, gather any supporting documentation that proves the inaccuracies on your credit report. This could include bank statements, payment receipts, correspondence with creditors, or any other relevant paperwork. Organize these documents neatly to submit with your dispute.

 

Step 4: Draft a Dispute Letter

Crafting a well-written dispute letter is essential to effectively communicate the inaccuracies to the credit bureaus.

 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides a universal template for credit disputes.  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/how-do-i-dispute-an-error-on-my-credit-report-en-314/

 

Keep copies of everything for your records. If you choose to do an online dispute, be sure to print or save a copy of your dispute a copy of what was submitted directly to the CRA may not be readily accessible.

 

Step 5: Submit Your Dispute

Once your dispute letter is ready, it's time to submit it to the credit bureaus. You can typically do this online, by mail, or over the phone, depending on the bureau's preferences. Make sure to follow their specific instructions for submitting disputes and include all the necessary documentation.

 

Again, if you choose to complete an online dispute form, be sure to print or save a copy of your dispute a copy of what was submitted directly to the CRA may not be readily accessible.

 

Step 6: Monitor Your Progress

After submitting your dispute, the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond to your claim. During this time, stay vigilant by monitoring your credit report for any updates or changes. The credit bureau will inform you of the results of their investigation in writing.

 

Step 7: Review the Results

Once the investigation is complete, carefully review the results provided by the credit bureau. If the inaccuracies were corrected, congratulations! Your credit report is now more accurate. However, if the inaccuracies persist, you have the right to request a reinvestigation or add a statement of dispute to your credit report.

 

Conclusion:

Disputing credit inaccuracies may seem like a hassle and just another task to add to a never ending to-do list. But, by exercising your rights under the FCRA, you can take control of your credit information and ensure its accuracy. Remember, maintaining a clean credit report is an essential step toward securing your financial future.

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