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How should credit reporting agencies address a dispute?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2022 | Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Maintaining a high credit score can help you when it comes time to apply for a loan or a home mortgage, so you want to keep your credit report accurate. If you find erroneous information on your report that lowers your credit score, you may write a letter to the credit bureaus disputing the errors and asking them to correct your report.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explains how the credit reporting agencies should handle a possible dispute.

Conduct an investigation

First, the credit bureaus cannot ignore your request. They must examine your claim to see if it is serious. Credit reporting companies can reject a claim if they determine it is frivolous, but they must give you a notice no later than five days telling you of their decision.

In the event the credit agencies find you have a valid request, they should carry out an investigation. They must contact the party or parties that furnished the incorrect information and explain your claim, providing them with any evidence you have sent to the credit agencies. There will be different outcomes to this process.

Make corrections to your report

The furnisher may respond that they had provided wrong information to the credit reporting companies and send them corrections. This will allow the credit agencies to update your report. Your credit score should receive an adjustment if the errors in your report had negatively affected it.

Confirm the information

It is possible the furnisher will report back that the information is accurate despite your claim. If you let the decision stand, you could ask the credit agencies to add a statement in your credit file that explains the dispute.

Keep in mind that under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to dispute inaccurate entries in your report and receive correct credit information. You may have legal recourse if you suspect the credit reporting companies or other parties are not upholding your rights.