Disputes with Credit Bureaus: Brief Synopsis
- Bureau disputes are the most common form of credit repair.
- Bureau disputes consist of finding and reporting questions of accuracy and verifiability.
- Disputes are done through dispute letters.
Disputes with Credit Bureaus: Full Explanation
Disputing with credit bureaus is the most common form of credit repair. Many companies out there offer ONLY this form of credit repair (to some degree – insert chuckle here). Federal Law provides every consumer the right to “dispute” or “challenge” any item on their credit report for accuracy and verifiability. Every good credit repair starts with a dispute of all inaccurate or unverifiable negative information with the three main credit bureaus: Trans Union, Experian, & Equifax.
First let’s examine what exactly is “inaccurate” information. If you examine your credit report and anything on it is wrong, then the whole account is inaccurate. Some common inaccuracies are that the account shows it was opened in the wrong month (they said you opened it in March 2007 when in fact you believe it was opened in February 2007), account numbers are wrong, high credit limits are off, dates of late payments are wrong (they said you were late in May and you believe you were late in April but are sure you paid on time in May), etc. Once, you have determined that an account is inaccurate you may dispute it. If they said you opened the account in March 2007 and you think it was opened in February 2007 then you can dispute that account as not yours because that account is truly not yours as your account was opened in February.
Second: Let’s talk about verifiability. Items listed on your credit report need to be “verifiable”. That means they have to be able to prove it. For instance, if you have a collection account on your report, can the collection company document that it is your account? Do they have your signature on a contract? Do they have proof that goods or services were rendered to you?
Accuracy and verifiability make up the two core components of a credit bureau dispute. Once discrepancies in one of these areas have been identified, a credit repair agency will then contact the bureaus directly. This is done through dispute letters.