Writing a credit report dispute letter to the bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) is an extremely effective technique for clearing past due items, charge-offs, and collections from your credit report—and consequently raise your FICO score. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives consumers the right to verify their credit report. Only write to credit bureaus when you find yourself at least 30 days late with your creditor and the account shows up as past due on your credit score. This is the same exact method credit repairs services are using when you pay them a fee to fix your credit.
By the way, never ever ever dispute a claim through a credit bureau’s online submission template. Doing so will just give the credit bureaus a really big advantage. Think of it this way, the credit bureaus will have 30 days to dispute your claim whether it is submitted online or snail mail. If you submit it online, their claims department gets it instantaneously. If you submit it through snail mail, it will take a few days to get there and a couple of extra days to get sorted in their mail room and up to their claims department.
When writing to the bureaus, make sure you put your identifying information (such as Name and SSN) along with the information in question (for instance your 30 day late Citicards payment in June of 2009). Your explanation should be short and concise, no more than a few sentences. It should state the reason why you believe the item on the report is erroneous (i.e. I was never late because I paid on so-and-so date). Though not necessary, you can attach any favorable evidence you may have. After sending in your letter, they have 30 days to respond or else they need to remove the delinquent item, pursuant of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I’ve gotten all my items removed from my credit report by writing to the credit bureaus. Two of three credit bureaus removed the item in question after my first letter, the third bureau followed suit six months later, after I sent in a second letter. The key is to be persistent. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again a second time, and a third time. But make sure the letters are not duplicates of the ones sent earlier or else they will dismiss your challenge as frivolous. I won’t go as far as to say that this will work for everyone. But I will say that if you don’t try, the negative item will definitely stay on your report.
Here is a sample letter you can use to dispute an error on your credit report
Sample Credit Dispute Letter
(Name of credit bureau)
(Address of credit bureau)
Attn: Consumer Relations
(Your Legal Name)
(Your Current Address)
(Your Date of Birth)
Pursuant to Section 611 of The Fair Credit Reporting Act, please investigate the following items listed on my credit report. The item is being reported inaccurately on my credit report.
Account #: ________________________________________
Reason for dispute: _________________________________
Please update my credit report and send me a copy of the findings when the investigation concludes. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
(Your Name and Signature)