by Chris Devers
Did you know that you can now dispute your credit report by going online and visiting each credit bureaus website? Let us review how the dispute process works.
The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your credit report from each major credit bureau, you can get these for free at annual credit report. However you are only entitled to one credit report from each bureau annually.
Once you have all three of these credit reports you need to review them and identify any items that you believe are incorrect or questionable. Don’t be surprised if there is different information on each of your credit reports, this is common. The reason is because some lenders do not report to all three credit bureaus.
This is vitally important because if you file a dispute with the wrong credit bureau and the item you’re disputing is not on your credit report with that bureau then often your future dispute attempts will automatically be deemed frivolous and ignored. For example if you dispute credit report to remove a charge off with Experian and your Experian credit report does not show a charge off then you will have a tough time in the future.
The next step is either going online or we encourage you to stick to the old-fashioned US mail to file your credit dispute. To do this online you have to go to each bureau’s website and fill out the instructions to file your dispute.
The reason we suggest that you use US mail is because this way you can include any additional supporting evidence or documentation that you may have. Additionally we are suspicious of the credit bureaus and how they may handle online disputes.
We say this because the FTC has fine each of the credit bureaus time and time again for not investigating consumer disputes. The largest fine by the FTC was roughly 10 years ago when all three credit bureaus were required to set up an 800 number so consumers could call in and file a dispute by phone, however the credit bureaus were not required to have employees answer these calls.
There were reports of people waiting up to 43 hours and longer on hold. All three of the credit bureaus were fined $ 1 million collectively, the largest fine to date. However critics were in uproar because from a business standpoint the credit bureaus saved millions of dollars by ignoring consumer disputes and not spending man-hours and resources correcting information that they had collected about you. In other words critics felt the fine was much too small.
Once you file your dispute the credit bureaus typically are going to respond by asking you for more information about the dispute. They don’t necessarily need the information instead this is a stall tactic the bureaus use because they want you to give up on your credit dispute. The bureaus have found it much more cost efficient to try and ignore your dispute than to actually investigate and correct your credit report information. However if you remain persistent you can fix bad credit.
It is a little-known fact that the credit bureaus only spend money when they investigate consumer disputes and therefore are reluctant to do this. Many people believe the credit bureaus are a government entity which is false. The credit bureaus are huge for-profit businesses that annually generate millions of dollars of revenue. The will eventually investigate your dispute, however only because Federal Law requires them to.
If you run into difficulty or just simply want to avoid the headaches we would encourage you to hire a credit repair service to clean up credit listings for you. They are very affordable at roughly $ 60 a month with typically $ 100 upfront fee. All you have to do is tell them what items you want to dispute and wait for the letters from the credit bureaus.
Related Dispute Credit Report Articles