How to Dispute Credit Report Information

It’s a good time for us all to start thinking about what we are going to do to keep our finances in good shape.

At Experian, we are here to help you. During the coming weeks and months we will be providing more educational blogs, videos and #creditchat that will help you proactively manage, build and improve your credit.

So let’s get started with one of the most common questions people ask me:

How do I dispute information that I believe is being reported inaccurately?

The process is very straightforward and simple.

Step 1: Go to Experian.com/dispute
You can submit disputes for most information you believe to be inaccurate through Experian’s online dispute system. You can also send any supporting documentation for your disputes electronically at Experian.com/upload.

You do not need to have a current copy of your personal credit report. However, requesting a copy of your personal report can help ensure you have the most recent information available, particularly if you haven’t reviewed your report for a long period of time.

Step 2: Select “Start a new dispute online” box
After checking the box, click “Continue.”

If you have a personal report with a report number, you can select that option. If not, complete the “Access by personal information” section and select “Submit.”

Then, simply follow the instructions to enter your dispute information step-by-step.
It is very important to be specific with your dispute. State exactly what the issue is with an account. Experian’s online dispute system simplifies the process by providing choices for the most common dispute reasons.

Upon receiving your dispute, Experian will contact the source of the information, such as a lender, on your behalf. The source of the information is required by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to review its records and respond to the dispute.

If you would prefer, you can submit your dispute by mail or by calling the toll-free number on your Experian credit report.

Step 3: Allow 30-45 days for your dispute to be completed
The dispute should be completed within 30 – 45 days after it is received by Experian. That time-frame allows documentation to be mailed if necessary.

However, most disputes can be conducted through automated processes. As a result, many disputes are completed well in advance of the 30-45 day period.

The source of the information will respond in one of three ways:

  • The information should be updated in response to the dispute
  • The information should be deleted from the credit report
  • The information should remain as reported

Once a dispute is completed you will receive a notice from Experian with the results of the dispute. If you do not agree with the history as reported by the source and cannot reach agreement, you may add a “Statement of dispute.”

A statement of dispute enables you to explain why you disagree with how the information is being reported.

Businesses are notified that the statement is part of your report every time you apply for credit or other services. Lenders and other businesses can take the statement into account and may ask you for more details or documentation as part of their application review process.

Three steps – that is all there is to it.

Experian has worked very hard to streamline the process and hopes these steps will make managing the dispute process much simpler for you. Keep in mind, however, that while the dispute process can be a powerful tool for managing your credit, it is only one of the tools in your toolbox. So stay tuned for more tips and advice.