Disputes and Fraud Protection
Reviewing your credit report on a regular basis helps you ensure the information on your report is accurate and that you have not been the victim of identity theft. If you do have inaccurate information, you can dispute it online from Experian’s Online Dispute Center.
There are two main types of incorrect information. Determining which type matters because the steps you should take to dispute are different.
Have you been the victim of identity theft?
One of the easiest ways to detect identity theft is to review your credit report for information that you do not recognize. Signs of potentially fraudulent information include:
- Accounts that aren’t yours
- Inquiries you didn’t authorize
- Addresses you’ve never lived at
If you think you are a victim of identity theft, contact us at 1-800-493-1058.
Is there incorrect information on your accounts?
The information on your credit report comes directly from the companies, such as banks and credit card companies, that provide credit to consumers. Sometimes, that information gets reported incorrectly. Examples of incorrect details include:
- Open accounts reported as closed
- Reports of late payments that never happened
- Incorrect balances, credit limits, or other information
If you have found incorrect information on one of your credit reports, you can initiate that dispute through Experian’s Online Dispute Center.
In addition, you should review your credit reports from the other two bureaus, TansUnion and Equifax. You can then dispute any incorrect information with each credit bureau.
Know These Things Before You Dispute
Each of the three nationwide credit bureaus operate independently, so you will to dispute inaccurate information at each of the credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
What happens when a dispute is filed?
The credit bureau will ask the source of the information, for example your bank, to check their records, and then one of three things will happen:
- Incorrect information will be corrected
- Information that cannot be verified will be updated or deleted
- Information verified as accurate will remain intact on your credit report
Once you’ve started an online dispute through Experian’s Online Dispute Center, you will receive alerts via email whenever there is an update. You can also view the content of your dispute alerts in the main “Alerts” section of your Experian account. The entire dispute process process can take up to 30 days. Some of the alerts you’ll receive throughout the process include:
- Open – This indicates that your dispute has been submitted and the dispute process has been initiated.
- Update – Your dispute investigation has been completed and your credit report is being updated with the results of your dispute.
- Dispute results ready – Your credit report has been updated with the results of our dispute investigation.
Is it better to dispute, or contact the company that provided the information?
Directly contacting the company that provided inaccurate information can speed up resolution time of disputes. That company can correct inaccurate information on their end so the verification process is simple.
Does filing a dispute impact credit scores?
Filing a dispute has no impact on your score, but if the dispute is accepted and information on your credit report changes, it might. It depends on what you are disputing and the outcome of the dispute.
What can be disputed?
You can dispute any of your personal information, account information, or legal record information. Inquiries are not disputable unless they are considered fraudulent. If you have a fraudulent inquiry on your credit report, please contact us at 1-800-493-1058.
Dispute by mail: P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Transunion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000