Congratulations- Here’s Your FREE DIY Credit Repair Guide!
How To Dispute Negative Items On Your Credit Report
1. Order your credit report from all three credit bureaus.
First, order your credit report directly from all three credit bureaus. You’re entitled to a FREE credit report from each credit bureau every year. If you’ve already requested and received your free copy, you can receive another one for free if you have been denied for a credit card, auto loan, mortgage, or any other line of credit within the past 60 days. NEVER request a credit report or dispute anything online with the credit bureaus. You give away rights and jeopardize the success of this process. Download our sample letter (at the end of this guide), then handwrite three short letters requesting your credit report from each major credit bureau by mail.
Include your name, mailing address, social security number, and scan a copy of your driver’s license or state ID and include it with the letter.
Use the three addresses listed below to Request A Copy Of Your Report from each major credit bureau:
TransUnion P.O. Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064
Equifax P.O.Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian P.O. Box 8030
2. Analyze each credit report and identify negative items and informational errors.
Second, check each credit report for any inaccurate information. Double check the spelling and accuracy of your:
- Current and past mailing addresses
- Date of Birth
- Current and Past Employers
- Account Numbers of Any Negative Accounts On Your Credit Report
- The Date The Account Was Opened
The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) requires accounts that have inaccurate information to be removed from your credit report. Many accounts can be removed easily by this method because errors are common place on credit reports.
If you see any inaccurate information of any kind, use the Inaccurate Information Letter as a template and handwrite a letter to the credit bureau requesting that the account be deleted from your credit report immediately.
After the credit bureau removes the inaccurate account from your credit report, you are legally entitled to receive another credit report free of charge. It also won’t count as an inquiry on your credit!
Send a certified letter with return receipt requested! Don’t send it by regular mail- you won’t have proof of the date you sent the letter or that it was received.
Triple check everything on your credit report. Literally EVERY piece of information associated with your account must be correct or it has to be removed.
THE CREDIT BUREAU HAS 15 DAYS TO RESPOND BY MAIL!
This means the return letter be sent within 15 days of their receiving your letter. You can verify the dates based on the certified mail you sent!
3. Send a Credit Investigation Request Form to credit bureaus reporting negative items.
Complete a Credit Investigation Request Form and send it to each bureau. Don’t copy the form then fill it out. Hand-write the letter using the format shown on the Credit Investigation Request Form (available at the bottom of this page). to each credit bureau that lists negative items on your credit report. In each separate letter, only mention the negative items that are listed on your credit report from that particular credit bureau. Some of the companies you allegedly owe money to don’t report to all three credit bureaus. It’s important you never reference an account not listed on the credit report.
Send the letter by certified mail so you can verify the date you sent the letter and the date it was received. The credit bureau has 30 days to respond to your Credit Investigation Request Form. If they don’t respond in time, the negative accounts must be deleted. If they do respond in time, they will either confirm they are deleting the account or they will say the negative item has been verified as accurate. If they claim the debt has been verified, don’t stop there! Proceed onward!
- Legally, the credit bureau must only report accurate information. Request all inaccurate information included in your name, address, phone number, and previous employers to be deleted from your account in addition to requesting an investigation regarding the negative items on your credit report.
- It’s not uncommon for the credit bureaus to remove some of your accounts but not all. If they remove some, never bring them up again in any communication with the credit bureau. All of your focus will be on the remaining negative items. Send the letter to the addresses below and move onto Step 4.
- Use the following addresses to dispute the items on your credit report. Notice the addresses are different than the addresses used to request a copy of your credit report.
- TransUnion P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
- Equifax P.O.Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
- Experian P.O. Box 4500
- TransUnion P.O. Box 2000
4. Send a Dispute Letter to the CREDITOR (the company you allegedly owe).
Write a handwritten letter to the creditor requesting proof that you were late or failed to make the payment. This forces the creditor or collection agency to dig through their records and prove they have all of the original paperwork to validate the debt is actually yours and that you owe the money.
Be sure to include the account number(s) in question on the document. Check for any incorrect data on the report they send back to you. If your name, address, employment history, account number, or any other piece of information is incorrect, the account must be deleted from your credit report. Send the Inaccurate Information letter to demand the items be removed per the FCRA.
Many companies don’t want to spend the money paying people to locate your records and will delete the item. If the company claims to have verified the debt, don’t stress out or give up. Simply move onto step five.
5. Write a Debt Validation Letter to Collections Agencies.
Per the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the creditor or collection agency has to provide all 5 of the following items to you in order to legally collect on the debt. If they fail to do so, the debt must be invalidated- which means the debt has to be removed from your credit report and you’re not obligated to pay anything!
- The original agreement or loan note with your personal signature agreeing to repay the debt
- Confirmation of what the debt is for- AKA credit card, auto loan, retail credit card, etc.
- The entire payment history since the beginning of the account
- A copy of the agreement proving the collection agency has the legal right to collect on the debt
- A copy of their state license number and legal right to collect debt in your state
The company must send you EVERYTHING on the list above. If even one item is missing, that is enough to get the negative item removed from your credit report.
Included in the Debt Validation Letter is a formal request to cease all further communication with you by any means other than U.S. mail until the debt has been proven as valid by the collections agency providing your all five methods of validation. If the collections agency violates by calling, emailing, or texting you, you can sue them for up to $1,000 for each offense!
6. Send a Dispute Letter to the credit bureau to force a reinvestigation.
At this point, you are forcing the credit bureau to spend time and resources proving this debt is valid. Many times, the credit bureau will consider this more hassle than it’s worth and delete the negative item.
As previously stated, many creditors will not provide all of the items and documents necessary to validate the debt. If the credit bureau fails to provide you the method of verification for each of the negative items on your credit report, they must delete the account(s) from your credit report. If they don’t, send a Formal Complaint Filing Notification Letter.This letter notifies the credit bureau you are going to report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau because they have failed to provide proper debt validation and have broken the law by not removing the item from your credit report. If you don’t receive back confirmation that the accounts have been deleted from your credit report within 30 days, then actually file the complaint.
Boost Your Own Credit Score TODAY!
Congratulations! Whether you have completed each step of this guide or just read it for the first time, you have taken action!
Download your FREE sample letters and use them as a reference for your letters. We’ll be in contact soon to help you on your journey to an 800 credit score!
WealthHunters LLC, nor any of its members are attorneys, accountants, or licensed credit specialists. We are hard-working people like yourself that took time to understand how the credit repair process works to help ourselves and others. We cannot answer questions about your personal credit situation or credit report, but are happy to answer generalized questions about the content published. Our goal is to help you improve your credit and help you get one step closer to financial freedom. We are not legally liable for anything regarding your credit report and any assistance provided is FREE! Special thanks to the incredible book written by Carolyn Warren, Repair Your Credit Like The Pros. It’s a quick read and helped me clarify the process in more detail and accuracy. I suggest you purchase the book if you’re interested in this process.