How to Write a Credit Dispute Letter
If you’re wondering how to deal with a low credit score then your first step is to review any possible mistakes. After all, you could be the 1 in 5 people facing errors on their credit reports, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Don’t worry though because the dispute process is relatively easy and so is sending in a credit dispute letter. Depending on your situation though, you might appreciate working with credit repair companies instead.
How to Write a Credit Dispute Letter
- Note the inaccurate information
- State the actual facts
- Include your personal details
A credit dispute letter is actually very simple to write and send to the credit bureaus. You first state the information you believe to be wrong and where to find it on your credit report. Then, you provide the actual facts and ask for the negative items to be removed from your credit history. All the credit bureaus are legally obliged to investigate any dispute within 30 days. Although, remember that it’s illegal to dispute anything that’s correct so be careful that you’ve checked everything properly.
Clearly, you’ll need to include your personal details so that the credit bureaus can correctly identify you. You should also include your social security number and a copy of an official identification card such as your passport or driver’s license. Naturally, any credit repair company can make sure you don’t forget anything should you choose to work with them.
The Credit Dispute Process
- Follow the online credit bureau’s process
- Update the information provider
- Choose credit repair companies if you want
It’s important to remember that you should follow the credit bureaus’ processes as your first step. Then, you also need to update the information provider which is usually your lender that you’re disputing some information. Either way, the credit bureaus contact them as part of their process but it’s worth giving them a heads up. Again, credit repair companies do all this for you.
You can actually complete any dispute process by yourself and for free. Nevertheless, you might want to consider working with credit repair companies. If you feel that your case is pretty straight forward then, of course, you’ll be fine on your own. On the other hand, if you have many debt delinquencies and potential legal proceedings hanging over your head then you might appreciate working with a credit repair company. Their expert teams can deal with all the legal terminology and processes on your behalf.
Typical things to Dispute on a Credit Dispute Letter
- Issues due to identity theft
- Old addresses
- Erroneous late payments or bankruptcy details
Credit reports have more errors than you might initially think. With 33% of Americans victim to identity theft every year, this isn’t so much of a surprise. Essentially, these thieves open up accounts on your behalf and take out loans that you never agreed to. As you can imagine, they’re never there to repay them but debt collectors still come after you. Don’t worry though because credit repair companies can also advise you on how to protect yourself going forwards.
There are also some relatively minor mistakes that can happen on credit reports such as addresses not being updated. Then again, people make mistakes, including lenders. It’s therefore worth checking any late payments in case there have been errors. Some people even find bankruptcy details on their credit reports even though they’ve never filed for bankruptcy before. If this is all sounding overwhelming though, credit repair companies will go through everything so you don’t have to stress about it.
How to Choose a Credit Repair Company
- Look for track record and registration details
- Verify their fee and guarantee structure
When you hire a credit repair company, you’re basically paying for ease of mind. You can do everything they do for free but sometimes it’s reassuring having the experts by your side. Just like you could never do to your garden what your gardener does so credit repair companies use their legal know-how to get you results.
Reviewing Credit Repair Companies
When reviewing credit repair companies, it’s important that you check their background and registration details with the Department of Justice. This reassures you that they’re above board and compliant with the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Another useful check is to verify their status on the Better Business Bureau.
Last but not least, it’s a good idea to compare fee structure and guarantee policy. No credit repair company should be asking for upfront fees. Also, the best credit repair companies offer a full 90-day money-back guarantee. This alone tells you everything about their transparency.
Final Recommendations for your Credit Dispute Letter
Whether you do it on your own or with the help of a credit repair company, keep your credit dispute letter simple. Remember to also check the online process for disputing errors with each of the 3 credit bureaus. There are many reasons for mistakes to come up on credit reports. Depending on your situation though, remember that credit repair companies can manage everything on your behalf so that you don’t have the stress and hassle of dealing with lenders, bureaus, and legal terminology. Sometimes, that peace of mind is invaluable.