How To Write An Effective Dispute Letter That Get Results

Getting the errors off your credit reports can be a very difficult process and it can be hugely frustrating to live with some of the blatant inaccuracies. But no matter what you do, don’t give up your fight to get the facts corrected in your favor.

Be patient and write effective dispute letters that get the mistakes corrected.

writing effective dispute lettersWhen a customer disputes the information on their credit report the credit reporting agencies such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian start an investigation into their claims. The issue many consumers have with this is that the credit reporting agencies depend on the information furnished by the lenders and debt collectors.

So if the agencies furnishing the information, verify the errors on your report as being accurate, this gets left on your credit report and there is very little you can do about it. Often, the only solution is to get legal counsel to get the problem fixed, but this takes a lot of time and effort on your part.

But, before resorting to legal action you should attempt to write an effective dispute letter and follow the steps given here to get the errors on your credit report corrected.

#1: Make sure you get a credit report from all three credit bureaus

You need all three because each credit reporting agency may be reporting different information about you.  And disputing it with one credit reporting agency, doesn’t mean it will be corrected on all 3.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles you to a free copy of your reports at least once every 12 months.


why you need to get a credit report from all three credit bureaus#2: Look through the report carefully for all errors, big and small

You may have identified the major errors in the last report, such as a debt that you have already repaid. But it is possible that you had missed out on some of the minor errors, such as a misspelling of your name or an incorrect address.

Such errors can look like innocent mistakes.  Or it can indicate the possibility of an identity theft and that someone maybe using your information with small, slight differences to obtain credit.

Once you get the latest credit report scan it carefully for:

  • incorrect Social Security numbers
  • incorrect representation of your name
  • wrong addresses
  • wrong date of birth.

Next, look through the section where you can find out what companies have pulled your credit information. If you see a company that you are not familiar with or have had nothing to do with, ask the credit bureau why they were given the information related to your credit report.

Credit Monitoring

If you find that you are a victim of identity theft, you need to add some sort of credit monitoring to your credit report or look into freezing your credit report.  You never know if it was a friend or close family member that is using your identity or if its an online hacker that is selling your information over and over again.  You want to make sure that you stop the problem before it becomes bigger.

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identifying and correcting errors in your credit report#3: Highlight the errors on the credit report

Make a copy of the front page of the credit report and photocopy the pages that have errors on them. Circle all errors, no matter how minor they appear. If there are many errors on the report, mark each with a number to refer to the errors later when you write the dispute. Make multiple copies of the report. You will need them later for your dispute.


#4: Avoid disputing the error online

Now, disputing the error online may speed up the process, but this would be a huge mistake as online dispute forms contain arbitration clauses that may dilute your rights as a consumer. The credit bureaus generally hide the waiver clauses in the click agreement, so when you click “I accept”, you would be waiving the right to sue them later.

avoid disputing errors onlineAnd YES!  You have the right to sue the credit reporting agency for inaccuracies on your credit report if you have made them aware of the problem and they refuse to act.

That’s why disputing an error online is not the best idea as you would be essentially giving up the option to take the credit bureau to court later if there is something wrong with the report. Even if there is hearing, it would be settled by a single arbitrator, and not by a jury. Proving your case would be really very difficult in this scenario.

It is best to mail your dispute. This way you won’t have to worry about being forced into arbitration in case you have to challenge the credit bureau’s handling of the report.


#5: Use separate letters for each dispute

If you have multiple errors on the report, don’t dispute the errors together. Instead, write a separate dispute letter for each error and mail them separately to the credit bureau. This improves your chances of getting at least some errors fixed, if not all. This may take more time, but it is a far more efficient way of sending a dispute. Remember to keep track of what you have sent to each agency.


keeping your dispute letter simple#6: Keep the dispute letter simple

An effective dispute letter is one that is not too verbose and is easy to read. Don’t use complex words in the dispute letter and don’t cite legal arguments. Keep the language simple and don’t use any form letters that you find online. Just keep it brief, to the point and explain the errors in a polite but simple language.


#7: Provide evidence for the errors

If there is any proof or evidence to back up the dispute, include them with the dispute. This could prove to be very important later when you go to court to prove that the credit bureau has failed to correct a legitimate mistake.  Also, be sure to make copies of the correspondence.  The credit bureaus often misplace or lose correspondence sent by consumers. Make copies of the evidence as well.


#8: Mail the dispute to all three credit bureaus as well as to the data furnisher

It is important to mail the dispute to the collection agency or the lender that has been misreporting your credit history and send them the same letter that you have sent to the three credit bureaus. This can potentially help resolve the dispute faster.


#9: Record and keep track of everything

Record every single correspondence and written communications. Record all credit reports, denials of credit or for that matter anything which is relevant to the dispute. Leave nothing out.   Send everything using certified mail.  You want proof of when you filed the dispute.


#10: Be persistent

It does take time to get an error on your report corrected, so it is important that you should not only approach correcting the errors on your credit report in an organized manner, but you must stay persistent all through the process. If you have already disputed the error several times, but to no effect, then look for a legitimate credit repair company that has a credit repair lawyer on staff.  Preferably one who handles Fair Credit Reporting Act cases. You can also find a credit repair lawyer on the National Association of Consumer Advocates website.

Also, submit a formal complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Your complaint will be forwarded by them to the credit bureaus and an explanation will be sought. Whatever you do, don’t give up; keep pushing till the errors are taken off the report. There is no reason why your persistence cannot pay off.





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Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth Roberts

Liz Roberts and her team are continuously providing information to people who are ready to repair their credit and improve their credit score. Also team strives to empower the homebased and small business owners by bringing information that can help them to manage and grow their businesses. Let our 24+ years of business finance experience help you to get the financing you need! CONTACT US if need financing for your business.

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