How do you dispute a credit bureau decision?


Quick Answer

Consumers dispute credit bureau decisions or errors in information by checking credit reports to be sure the error exists, contacting the credit bureau to report the error and request an investigation, and contacting the information provider, reports the Federal Trade Commission. Credit bureaus must investigate qualified disputes within 30 days.

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Full Answer

To ensure credit reports are accurate, consumers can order free copies of the reports from the three major national credit bureaus annually via the federally approved site annualcreditreport.com, according to the Federal Trade Commission. If an error is detected, consumers should send an official dispute letter with their name and address, details of the dispute, a copy of the credit report with the mistake circled, the correct facts and a request that the mistake be corrected. The consumer should send a similar letter to the source that provided the information to the credit bureau.

Both the credit bureau and the information provider are required to investigate qualified disputes, correct errors in their records, provide a free credit report to the consumer with the corrected information and on request, notify any person or company that received the incorrect information, states the Federal Trade Commission. Credit bureaus are not required to investigate disputes involving personal information such as names, Social Security numbers, addresses, past employers or other matters of public record, states the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They are also not required to investigate complaints supplied by third-person credit repair organizations or complaints that are substantially the same as those already resolved.

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