You’ve just purchased or requested a copy of your credit report, and you’ve noticed that there are some items on your report that you don’t recognize. You may also see that some of your accounts are delinquent or past due, and you’re not quite sure why. If this is familiar, you may want to think about filing a credit dispute. If you’re not quite sure how to get started, here are some tips that will help.
You’ve already taken the right first step by getting a copy of your credit report. This is the only way to know whether or not there are items on your report that you did not authorize, and many people have become the victims of identity theft because they do not know what’s on their report. After you go through your report carefully, you may want to request another report from one of the other bureaus; most items stay on your report for about seven years, so you may be disputing a debt that you’ve simply forgotten about.
If you know for sure that the item on your report is not yours , the next step in the credit dispute process is to write a letter to your creditor(s) explaining your situation and requesting a solution. If you are disputing a debt that is not yours, you should include information about when the account was opened. Bank statements and other proof that the debt was created without your consent may be needed. You should in no way claim a debt that you know does not belong to you; most companies will use this against you if you try to dispute the debt later.
If you are trying to fix a credit dispute concerning debt that you may have forgotten about over the years, a negotiation letter may help with this as well. You should let your creditors know that you are willing to pay the debt that you owe in a timely manner, and should keep in contact with the company to let your debtors know that you take your financial responsibilities seriously. This will definitely help with any credit repair efforts you are making now or in the future, and will keep your credit score in good standing.
People also use credit dispute letters to have information on their reports corrected. If you have moved in the past few years, don’t have the same contact information, or if the wrong social security number is listed on your credit report, writing a dispute letter can help to rectify this problem.
Be sure to keep documentation of all the credit dispute letters that you write, and contact your creditors often to make sure that the problem is resolved in a timely manner.