There is no way to dispute a credit score, per se, but the scores that you receive from the likes of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are all based on their respective reports that are comprised of information submitted to them by lenders. It is important to take the time to dispute information you believe is inaccurate in your credit report because it could result in changes to the report.
Following are the two most common reasons you may want to dispute a credit report.
1. There is incorrect information on your report.
For example, your credit card company mistakenly added a series of late fees onto your account, and then reported your information to one or all of the credit bureaus.
2. You have been a victim of identity theft.
If you get your identity stolen and someone opens up a card in your name or charges something to an existing card, you need to file disputes with all of the reporting bureaus that the creditor affiliates itself with.
Unfortunately, getting disputes recognized can be difficult and can take a while to be resolved, if the credit bureaus agree with your reasons. It can take as long as 90 days for your dispute to be properly handled, so it is imperative to act immediately.
If you need to file a dispute, it is best to write a letter to each reporting credit bureau using certified mail. Certified mail allows an option to request a “return receipt” so that you have a general frame of reference for when each letter was received. In addition to this, you will want to retain a copy of each letter for reference. Below are addresses for all three reporting credit bureaus:
- Equifax Information Services, LLC, P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374
- Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion, Baldwin Place, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022
Although it might take a while for these disputes to be properly resolved, it is important to not give up. Leaving these pieces of false information on your credit report may impact your ability to gain access to lower interest rates for loans, mortgages, and credit cards for years to come. Bad credit will never be removed from your credit report, but it will stop impacting your score 7 years after the debt has been written off by the creditor. Bankruptcies can be kept on your report for up to 10 years and unpaid tax liens for 15 years.
For more information about our secure Georgia Heritage Federal Credit Union loans, mortgages, Visa credit cards, preventing fraud, or our approval process, visit our website or speak with one of our credit union associates.