You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information in any consumer report prepared about you by a consumer reporting agency (CRA) including credit reporting agencies (credit bureaus) and specialty agencies (check writing history, medical records, rental history).
File a Dispute
You can file your dispute through a written letter to the CRA (it’s free to submit) or you can look up the CRA’s online filing instructions.
If you file by mail, the Federal Trade Commission has created a sample letter that you can use as a template for yours. Make sure your letter
- clearly identifies each item you’re disputing
- explains why you disputing the information
- requests that the disputed items be removed or corrected
- includes copies of any documents that will support your dispute
You might also want to enclose a copy of your report with the disputed items circled.
Once you’ve notified the CRA, it has 30 business days to investigate your claims. It must consider all the relevant evidence you give and correct the errors. If they can’t verify the negative information in your report, it must be deleted.
Get the Results
Your Report is Corrected
You are entitled to receive a free copy of your corrected report and can ask the CRA to send a corrected report to anyone who has requested it in the past six months (two years if it’s about employment).
Your Report isn’t Corrected
If you disagree with the result of the investigation, you have the right to submit a 100-word explanation that the CRA must include in your file (the negative information won’t be removed).
If you don’t believe the CRA adequately investigated your dispute or are having a problem getting your report corrected, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau using their complaint form.