When you find an error on your credit report, you have the right to file a dispute with the credit bureau. At that point, they are required to investigate your claim and determine if what’s being reported is accurate. It can be frustrating to find out the credit bureau claims the information is accurate the way it was reported when you believe it wasn’t. Finding out your dispute didn’t resolve the problem probably makes you wonder “Why didn’t my dispute work?”
What Happens When You File a Credit Dispute?
When you file a dispute with a credit bureau, your creditor is obligated to research their records and respond to the bureau within 5 days. After they’ve reviewed your records, they may correct an error or respond to the credit bureau that the information is accurate as reported. Once the creditor has responded, the bureau has 30-45 days to reply to your dispute.
If their response is that what they’ve reported is accurate, the item will remain on your credit report exactly the way it is. If your dispute didn’t work, consider whether there’s any additional supporting information you can provide, such as receipts, bank statements, or canceled checks. If you have such information, you can file another dispute. Filing another dispute without additional information is usually considered frivolous, and your dispute is likely to be rejected.
Was it Your Own Mistake?
Credit disputes should only be filed when the information on your credit report is inaccurate. Don’t assume a negative item is a reporting error without researching it. You may have simply forgotten to pay a bill or paid less than the total amount due. If you have a pattern of paying your bills on time and have a single oversight, contact your creditor. They may be willing to remove an isolated negative item as a gesture of goodwill.
Hearing your credit dispute didn’t work may make you wonder if that means you just have to live with this reporting error for years to come. You have the right to file another dispute, but don’t file a new dispute if you don’t have additional proof. Repeated disputes without further proof are considered frivolous. Try to come up with additional documentation that may help, such as canceled checks.
Talk to the Creditor
The next thing to do is talk directly to the creditor who has reported incorrect information. Let them know why you believe the information is incorrect and see if they’ll agree to remove it. If they aren’t willing to look into the problem, ask for a supervisor or escalate your concern even higher up in the company.
Adding a Statement to Your Credit Report
When a dispute is denied, you have the right to add a 100-word statement to your credit report explaining your side of what happened. This could involve medical problems, mail delays, or misunderstanding of discussions with the creditor. There’s no guarantee adding a statement will help you get credit in the future, but anyone who pulls your credit report sees this information and may take it into consideration.
Mishandling of Credit Information
If you believe your creditor has mishandled your credit information and is refusing to remove inaccurate information, you have the right to file a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. They may be able to help if the creditor refuses to take your calls or puts you in touch with the right person in their company.
Taking Care of Your Credit
Work on paying your bills on time, and if you do have any past-due accounts, make it a point to get them caught up. Avoid borrowing more money than you can afford to pay back. Make sure information about your outstanding account is being reported correctly. Dovly is an AI credit engine that can help you dispute any errors you find on your credit report. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier. Get in touch with Dovly today.