How to dispute an error on your credit report

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In a Nutshell

To dispute credit report errors, send a letter to the credit bureau that generated the report with the inaccuracy and explain what the error is. The bureau generally has up to 35 days to investigate and respond.
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If you’ve spotted an error on one of your credit reports, you should take immediate steps to correct the inaccuracy.

An error on your credit reports could lead to lower credit scores and impact your ability to open a new credit account or get a loan. Here are steps you can take to ask the credit bureaus to remove incorrect derogatory marks from your credit.

1. Send a letter to the credit bureau

Once you identify an error on your credit reports, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends that you contact the credit bureaus that produced the reports with the error. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three major credit bureaus, let you dispute inaccuracies on their respective consumer credit reports online or by mail.

Give your contact information and, in writing, explain what the error is and why it’s wrong. You’ll find sample letters to dispute credit report information with the credit bureau on the CFPB website. Be sure to include supporting documentation, such as a copy of an email verifying the status of the account that’s reported incorrectly. The CFPB also recommends that you keep copies of any letters or documentation that you send, and suggests that if you send it by mail, use certified mail with a return receipt.

Where to submit a dispute to the three major credit bureaus

  Equifax TransUnion Experian
Online How to dispute Manage a dispute Dispute online


PO Box 740256

Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

TransUnion LLC

Consumer Dispute Center

PO Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016


PO Box 4500

Allen, TX 75013

2. Determine if you should contact the furnisher as well

The CFPB also recommends that you contact the company that provided the information to the credit bureau. Companies that provide information to credit bureaus are also known as furnishers. Examples of furnishers include banks and credit card issuers. If the furnisher’s address is listed on your credit report, send your dispute to that address or contact the company for the correct address.

3. Wait up to 45 days for the credit bureau or furnisher to investigate and respond

The credit bureau generally has 30 days after receiving your dispute to investigate and verify information with the furnisher. The credit bureau must also report the results back to you within five days of completing its investigation.

If you dispute the error with the information furnisher, that company must also report the results of its investigation to you. It also typically has 30 days to investigate.

4. Review the results of the investigation

The credit bureau involved must provide you with results of the investigation in writing and also a free copy of your credit report if the dispute results in a change to that report. The credit bureau must also provide you with the name, address and phone number of the furnisher that reported the incorrect information.

If the disputed information is found to be inaccurate, the furnisher must tell the credit bureau to update or delete the item. The furnisher must also notify all the credit bureaus to which it sent the incorrect information so that the bureaus can correct their records.

Even if the furnisher insists that the disputed information is accurate, you can still request that the credit bureau include a statement in your credit file explaining the dispute.

5. Check for updates to your credit report

Updates to your affected credit reports may take some time to appear. It can depend on the specific credit bureau’s update cycle and when the furnisher sends the new information to the credit bureau.

If the update doesn’t appear on your credit reports within several months, contact the credit bureaus and the furnisher to verify it’s reporting your account information to the bureaus.

Next steps

If you identify an error on your credit reports, it’s crucial to dispute it immediately. The dispute process isn’t complicated but it can be time consuming and frustrating, especially if the result isn’t in your favor. It’s well worth the effort, however, if you succeed with your dispute.

About the author: Deb Hipp is a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. When she’s not writing about personal finance and news, she enjoys traveling to seas… Read more.