The Best Credit Bureau Dispute Letter

The Best Credit Bureau Dispute Letter

Most Effective Credit Dispute Letter

This blog post is for the people who cannot afford credit repair services and want to learn about the most effective credit dispute letter.

For this reason, I’ve distilled 15 years of credit repair experience into an advanced credit bureau dispute letter. Specific instructions on how to utilize it are listed below.

Repairing your own credit can be overwhelming and confusing:

  • It’s hard to figure out how to dispute correctly
  • Credit Bureaus may disregard your disputes
  • Creditors keep on verifying your challenges

For instance, if you’ve hired a credit repair company or so called “law firm” like Lexington chances are:

  • you’ve wasted $1000+  without results in upfront fees
  • they put in ineffective credit bureau disputes and goodwill requests
  • you find yourself at the same place where you started
  • Needless to say, it will take attention to detail. If you have the time to learn, it will pay-off. This is not only the right way but the only way.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act’s (FCRA) Section 611 allows for consumers to challenge questionable items on their credit reports. Specifically, late payments, charge-offs, and collections can be removed. Additionally, tax liens, bankruptcies, and judgments can also be deleted. Finally, you can also remove foreclosures, or any personal identification information.

Therefore, virtually any “questionable” negative information the credit bureaus have can be disputed. More often than not, deleting derogatory information results in a credit score increase.

Table of contents

How to dispute accounts relating to Identity Theft and Fraud

Victims of identity theft or fraud who have fraudulent accounts in their name will use a special dispute process.

To explain, they will need to implement a special identity theft victim procedure. They will fill out a sworn Identity Theft Affidavit on the Federal Trade Commission website and a fraud victim declaration.

In other words, if you are an ID theft victim, you will start here. Otherwise, keep reading below.

How to dispute accounts with credit bureaus: Phone, Mail, Online or Fax?

Unfortunately, many consumers dispute accounts by phone or online. This is a huge mistake.

Experian, Equifax, and Transunion provide you free access to a credit report directly from their websites. Alternatively, you can get all three reports from annualcreditreport.com. Now, these reports will provide you with a link to dispute online and a phone number to the credit bureau’s dispute center.

Although phone and online disputes are the simplest ways to dispute, any seasoned credit repair expert will tell you never to use them. In fact, consumers are at a disadvantage every time they do. Why?

First, the credit bureaus make consumers agree to waivers. These waivers  make clients give up their rights to a re-investigation.

Second, The credit bureaus do not fear the threat of lawsuits without a proper paper trail. For this reason, the credit bureaus take online and phone disputes less seriously.

In conclusion, online or phone disputes are less effective for deleting items off a credit report. For this reason, mailing or faxing the most effective credit dispute letter will be much better.

Common mistakes to avoid with credit dispute letter

Over the years, I’ve seen clients make errors which hurt their chances for a deletion. Here are ways to avoid these mistakes:

A) You should not threaten legal action of any kind unless you have reason to do so.

B) Never dispute any positive items on your credit report because they cannot be re-inserted after removal.

C) Do not dispute any inquiries linked to accounts you’ve legitimately opened. The creditor can close the account fearing fraud.

D) Include entire account numbers if the same creditor is reporting multiple accounts. You do not want the wrong account disputed and deleted.

What accounts you should never challenge with credit bureaus

I cannot stress this next point enough. When repairing your credit,  DO NOT dispute any recent legitimate debts you fell behind on if you cannot afford to pay them off.

Creditors can legally sue consumers within their resident state statute of limitations. With this in mind, check the statute of limitation for debts in your state before disputing any large unpaid accounts. For example, in California the statute of limitations for debts is 4 years. 

Hence, creditors in California can sue up to 4 years from the time you defaulted on a debt. Disputing accounts within the statute of limitations can cause creditors to take legal action against you.

However, this does not pertain to items resulting from identity theft.

What Accounts You Can Remove With The Credit Report Dispute Letter

You can dispute the following items: 

Credit accounts:  Charge-offs, late payments, missed payments, collections, repossessions, student loans, installment loans, auto loans, and 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.

Credit Inquiries: Credit inquiries are recorded by the credit bureaus for 2 years. Nonetheless, you can dispute and delete credit inquiries that are questionable and improve your score.

Personal information: You can remove or update all your personal information. This includes your name, current and previous addresses, and phone number. Similarly,  employment information, date of birth, and social security number can also be updated or removed.

How to dispute recent late payments and recent collections

To emphasize, any recent valid collection or late payments cannot be removed from your credit reports with the most effective dispute letter. On the other hand, let me go over how to remove these.

Recent late payments:  Recent late payments within the last 2 years or can be expunged with the creditor dispute method. Whereas, the most effective credit bureau dispute letter will work for older late payments,.

Recent collection accounts: For collection accounts within the last 4 years, the most effective way to get these expunged is the pay for delete method. This is also known as the “pay per delete for a collection” method. 

Older collection accounts: For re-aged collection accounts, you’ll first need to challenge the debt with the debt collector using a debt validation letter.

In summary, after the collection company receives your debt validation letter, send out the most effective credit bureau dispute letter. As a result, the collector will be asked for verification directly and from the credit bureaus as well.

 

The credit bureau dispute letter

Part 1

Start the first part of the letter with the following information.

 

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#.

Part 2

Use only the applicable information below for the body and the rest of the letter.

 

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}

How To Fill Out The Credit Dispute Letter

STEP 1: Identify yourself

To begin, fill in your personal identification information such as current address, date of birth, and SSN.

STEP 2: Choose items to dispute

Secondly, list the erroneous personal identification information you are disputing and the questionable accounts or inquiries. For each account, list the creditor name and account #.

STEP 3: Choose reason for disputing each item

Thirdly, select a reason for your dispute.

  • The Account does not belong to me.
  • Account payment history is incorrect. 
  • Account is too old to be on the credit report.
  • The account was paid prior to collection.
  • Incorrect amount.
  • Incorrect last payment date.
  • The account belongs to someone else with a similar name.
  • Incorrect Status.

Essentially, any questionable aspect of an account can be deleted.

STEP 4: 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, a bank statement, a mortgage statement, or a copy of your 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# such as a tax return, W-2, paystub, or 1099.

In fact, provide any supporting documentation. This includes anything that could support your dispute claim like a letter of deletion from the creditor.

STEP 5: How to Mail:

These letters should be sent certified mail. By all means, save the green receipt for your records.

STEP 6:  Wait for 30 Days for the Dispute Completion:

Lastly, within 30 days after receipt of the letters by the credit bureaus, you should receive the investigation results. Moreover, 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 credit bureaus do not correct your credit report

Surprisingly, the bureaus won’t send you the investigation results every time when they deem your identification information incomplete. Nevertheless, they are required to investigate the items you disputed. If this occurs, here’s what you do.

First, pull your updated credit report after about 35 days from when you mailed out the dispute letters.

Then, check each bureau report to see if there are any deletions or accounts under the “re-investigation” status.

These two indicators let you know if the bureaus investigated your claim. If you don’t see either, use the tracking information to confirm the bureaus received the letters.

Furthermore, you can file complaints against the bureaus if the letters were received.

How to file regulatory complaints against the bureaus and creditors

In the event that the bureaus do not investigate or correct your credit report, you need to take more extreme measures.

Specifically, you file a regulatory complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at www.consumerfinance.gov.

Similarly, the CFPB allows you to file complaints against creditors and collection companies. Accordingly, the CFPB forwards these complaints to the corresponding party who must respond back within 30 days with a resolution.

Furthermore, they collect data on the number of complaints filed against each institution and take regulatory action against them if they notice a pattern of violations.

Using the Section 604 dispute letter/ Method of Verification Letter

In the event that the CFPB compliant isn’t successful, this is the next step.

You will exercise your right under Section 609 and Section 604 of the FCRA to request a method of verification. These are known as the section 609 and section 604 dispute letters. Both dispute letters function similarly. 

In other words, you’re asking the creditors to provide you with details pertaining to how and with whom they verified the disputed information.

 
The Sample Method of Verification letter
 

Additionally, you’ll need to adjust the first dispute letter you sent them and enter 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. Contact information for the creditor
3. 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?

The Final Step: Take Action to repair your credit

Most importantly, you need to take action and start the credit repair process. The sooner you take action to repair your credit, the better your chances of success will be. Need help disputing negative information off your credit report? Then, reach out to us today and we will be happy to assist you.

The Best Credit Bureau Dispute Letter