Effective Credit Report Dispute Letters

Effective credit report dispute letters

English: A typical credit card terminal that is still popular today. visanet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effective Credit Report Dispute Letters

Effective credit report dispute letters are the foundation of a credit score improvement campaign.  After examining the free annual reports available at annual credit report.com you will probably find mistakes and questionable items that you would benefit greatly from eliminating.  The goal is to completely expunge all the negative items you can.  The first consideration you must ponder is whether to dispute with the credit reporting agency or with the company or individual giving the negative information.

Dispute with the Credit Reporting Agency First if

  • There is wrong or incomplete information from the creditor or debt collector who makes the claim.  This occurs frequently.  Companies go out of business.  People retire.  If the information cannot be verified by clear and convincing evidence it must be removed by law.
  • If the account doesn’t belong to you.
  • If the address is wrong or it is a public record such as a court judgment or tax lien.

Dispute first with the furnisher of the information if

  • You have documentation showing they made a mistake such as correspondence or a billing error.
  • You have already checked with the credit reporting agency and they have confirmed the information is correct.
  • You have the correct contact information on the one who furnished the negative report.  You will want to try to settle it on condition of a written promise to expunge all records.  Make a low ball offer, tell them you have your credit card ready to make immediate payment. You will pay upon receipt of an email promising to delete.

There’s no Substitute for Snail Mail

Now let’s talk about Effective Credit Report Dispute Letters.  Don’t dispute electronically.  To do so is to waive important legal rights.

  1. Include photo copies of your ID, the last 4 numbers of your social security number and the reference number on the credit report.
  2. Identify the item that’s wrong.
  3. Be brief, clear and to the point.
  4. Write clearly or,preferably, type.
  5. Don’t quote laws.  That sounds as if you are being coached by a credit repair company and could result in extra scrutiny.
  6. Include copies of documentation you may have that tends to prove your case.
  7. CC the Consumer Financial Protection Agency to start a file with them in the event you need to appeal.
  8. Have the letter proofread by a family member or friend.  No one is perfect.  Let’s avoid typos and misspellings.
  9. Do send all mail as certified, return receipt requested.  If you can’t afford or it is inconvenient to use certified mail use regular first class mail as opposed to doing nothing.

Effective credit report dispute letters are the foundation of credit repair.  When you have done all you can with effective credit report dispute letters it is time to look at the more sophisticated techniques that we advocate in “On Home Buying and Credit Repair.”

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is Your Court of Appeals

If you lose your dispute and request for reinvestigation it should not discourage you.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a very user friendly web site.  I have had nothing but success with my appeals to the CFPB up to this point.  The process is speedy too.  You will be glad you meticulously presented your case to the credit reporting agencies because now it will be a breeze to demonstrate the facts to people who actually look at your proof.  You can follow the progress of your case complaint to the CFPB in real time.

Many cases are won at this level because of the intimidation factor involved with dealing with a Federal agency.  It just isn’t worth the paperwork to many debt collectors.  They know weaknesses in the chain of evidence will not go unnoticed.


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After practicing law for 37 years Edward F. St. Onge, Sr. now devotes all his time to helping consumers achieve a high credit score with amazing speed. Learn the counter-intuitive secrets to credit scoring through his down to earth instructions backed by extensive knowledge of the laws and trends. All of the latest tricks and techniques that they don't want you to know now at your disposal. At last a level playing field for the consumer!

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