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Credit Report Dispute Letter Template – Sample

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The credit report dispute letter is used to remove an invalid collection from a person’s credit history that was either paid, falsely listed or if the debt is more than 7 years old. All three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) accept dispute requests online, standard mail, and by phone. By law, the credit bureau must give a response within 30 days upon receiving notice.

Credit Bureau Extension – In addition to the 30 days, if the requestor provides additional information after the original request, the credit bureau is entitled to an additional 15 days (45 days total).

Laws – 15 U.S. Code § 1681i

Table of Contents

Dispute an Item on a Credit Report

Disputing a credit report is a protected and free right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act that requires credit bureaus to investigate if a collection or debt is valid. The credit bureau has thirty (30) days to provide a formal response (may be extended fifteen (15) days if new evidence by the requestor is presented).

Step 1 – Get a Free Credit Report

Under federal law, 15 § 1681j(a)(1)(A), all three (3) bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) must provide a credit report that is free of charge to a resident of the United States.

AnnualCreditScore.com – The only website that offers all three (3) bureaus with no credit card required.

To get a credit report, a consumer must provide their:

  • Full Name;
  • Mailing Address (last 6 months);
  • Housing Status (rent or own);
  • Date of Birth;
  • Social Security Number (SSN); and
  • Undergo a Personal Verification Test (this may involve providing additional information such as student loan payment amounts, State of birth, past addresses, and vehicle information).

Once the report is available, any and all account marks, collections, and debt will appear along with the FICO score (300 to 850).

Step 2 – Review and Identify Questionable Debts

Carefully identify all collection accounts that may not have validity, over seven (7) years old, or were already paid. Even if an amount is outstanding that is valid, in some cases, the debt collector will have changed or may not respond to a request. Therefore, it’s advised to request as many strikes against the credit report as possible.

Step 3 – Gather Internal Records

It’s best to include as much information as possible when questioning a debt. Therefore, it’s best to check all bank statements, credit card accounts, and any other internal financial documents to locate any records that match the outstanding debt. Any available information will be needed to be attached to the dispute when disputing the claim.

Step 4 – Creating the Dispute

When formulating the dispute, it’s recommended and often to include the following:

  • Collection Account Number (#);
  • Collection Date(s);
  • Description (product or service provided);
  • Copy of the Credit Report; and
  • Copies of any Additional Evidence of Information.

Once all information about the questionable debts is collected the individual is ready to file a formal dispute with all three (3) credit bureaus.

Step 5 – Sending the Dispute

In most cases, if there is a debt listed on an individual’s account it will be listed on all three (3) bureau credit reports. Therefore, it’s in the best interest to request disputes to the following:

Equifax

Experian

TransUnion

Step 6 – Wait Thirty (30) Days

Under federal law, the credit bureau has thirty (30) days to investigate the matter. Depending on the circumstances of the debt, there may be contact to request further information. If further information is provided by the individual then the credit bureau has an additional fifteen (15) days to provide a final answer on the matter.

Step 7 – Receive an Answer from the Credit Bureau

Hopefully, when the credit bureau responds the letter will entail that the items were removed from the report. If so, there is nothing left to do and the outstanding balance should have already been removed and there may be an immediate improvement in the individual’s overall FICO score.

If the outstanding balance was not removed the individual will need to contact the current holder of the debt in the next step.

Step 8 – Request ‘Validation of the Debt’

The credit bureau should have provided the ‘debt holder’. In most cases, the original creditor will sell the debt to a collections agency or other party. At this time, in accordance with federal law (15 § 1692g(b)), the debtor may request where the debt came from by submitting a Debt Validation Letter. This will require the debt holder to obtain the name and address of the original creditor.

If the debt holder cannot produce the name and address of the original creditor within thirty (30) days then the debt is no longer liable and may be removed the individual’s credit report.

Step 9 – Wait 6 Months and Dispute Again

If the debt holder validates the debt by responding with the original creditor’s name and address the best option is to wait six (6) months and attempt to re-attempt the process again from Step 5. Most debts are bought and sold and there is a chance the new holder of the debt won’t respond to a dispute request. In such case the debt would be removed from the credit report.

Step 10 – Wait for the Debt to Expire

Under federal law, a debt remains on your credit report for a period of seven (7) years from the date of issue (15 U.S. Code § 1681(a)(4)). Therefore, if the debt collector is persistent whenever the debt is disputed, the individual will have to wait the full period for it to go off their credit report. Most likely, an additional dispute will be required to be placed as they do not automatically get deleted after the seven (7) year period.

Sample Dispute Letter

CREDIT REPORT DISPUTE LETTER

[DATE]
[NAME OF DEBTOR]
[STREET ADDRESS]
[CITY, STATE]
[ZIP CODE]

[NAME OF CREDIT BUREAU]
[STREET ADDRESS]
[CITY, STATE]
[ZIP CODE]

Dear [CREDIT BUREAU],

I, [NAME OF DEBTOR], have written this letter to dispute a claim that is falsely listed on my credit report with your bureau. The amount(s) owed are no longer outstanding for the following items:

Party Owed: [NAME OF DEBT HOLDER]

Amount: [OUTSTANDING BALANCE]

I am disputing this claim as the business is no longer in existence. This is my official request to have the aforementioned item to be deleted off my credit report.

Enclosed are copies of documents that prove my statement.

Sincerely,

[NAME OF DEBTOR]

(Video) What is a Credit Report Dispute Letter?

How to Write

DownloadAdobe PDF, Open Document Text (.odt) or Microsoft Word (.docx)

Step 1 – Some Standard Information Should Be Furnished As The Heading

The Date when this letter is executed or signed should be reported on the blank line labeled “Date.”

The Sender of this communication will need to identify himself or herself and report his or her Mailing Address using the blank lines labeled “Full Name,” “Address,” and “City, State”

Step 2 – The Template Will Need Situation Specific Facts Presented

The opening or greeting of this letter will begin with the word “Dear” and require the Name of the Recipient produced on the blank line after this word.

The Sender’s Full Name should be presented on the first blank line of this letter’s body.

Next, document the Legal Name of the Creditor Entity the Discrepancy Applies to on the blank line after the words “Party Owed.”

The blank line following the words “Amount,” will need the Full Dollar Amount of the Credit Error named in the concerned Credit Report.

Finally, the last blank line in this letter has been reserved so the exact reason behind the Dispute may be listed. For example, if the debt has been paid, state as much along with the Account Number, Date of Last Payment/Release, and other applicable proofs.

Step 3 – Executing This Letter May Only Be Done Through A Valid Signature

The Sender of this document will have to sign his or her Name on the line after the word “Sincerely.”

Related Letters

Remove a Paid Debt Letter – Similar to a credit report dispute as an individual is contacting the credit bureaus, usually with a receipt or proof of payment, in order to have an outstanding charge cleaned off their report.


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