When disputing credit reports you must use specific words such as erroneous, outdated, misleading, or unverifiable information. Just saying that a debt was paid is not enough and will not compel credit reporting agencies to accept your written dispute letter or statements and launch an investigation. According to the information provided by many credit agencies, there are certain steps you can take to successfully dispute credit reports, including using the credit repair letter below.
It is not illegal for creditors and debt collectors to report debts that you have disputed in writing to the credit reporting agencies (credit bureaus). However, they must report the information as “in dispute” and the credit bureau must report the account as such when they release your information. If the information was previously reported and then you placed it in dispute, the same rules apply; creditors and collectors must contact the CRAs, and inform them that the account is in dispute.
Free Repair Credit Letter — Initial Credit Report Dispute Letter
Feel free to copy and paste the text into a word processor.
Initial Credit Report Dispute Letter
[Your return address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to dispute the following information in my file.
Dispute 1 [These are examples. Pick the ones that apply to your credit report.]
- Account Number or other information to identify account: [Insert account number or other information such as account holder names and past addresses. This is especially important if you have had multiple accounts with the same company.]
- Dates associated with item being disputed: [Insert the date that appears on your report to help ensure the correct account is identified by the company and to identify which aspects of the report are being disputed. You can still file a dispute if you don’t have this date.]
- Explanation of item being disputed: [Insert a detailed explanation of why the information is inaccurate. Choose one of the choices below if it fits, or add your own description.]
- The report shows I currently owe that I have already repaid. [Give details about when you paid, and attach a copy of any proof that you have.]
- The date of first delinquency on my report is not accurate. [Give details about delinquency status, including payment history, attach any proof that you have.]
- My student loan shows a period of delinquency when I was actually in an income-driven repayment plan. [Provide documentation, including copies of billing statements.]
- I’m the victim of identity theft and I don’t recognize the account. [You may wish to include a copy of the FTC identity theft affidavit describing the identity theft.]
- Other [Describe what is wrong with the report. You may include copies of any additional supporting documentation that you have.]
Dispute 2 [Continue numbering for each disputed item on your report and include the same information]
[Include the following sentence if you are including a copy of your credit report or other supporting documentation. “I have attached a copy of my report with the accounts in question circled.”]
Enclosures: [List what you are enclosing.]