The Effects of Disputing Charges on a Credit Card

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Dear Experian,

Will disputing a charge on my credit card affect my credit? Can the company with which I am in dispute give me a bad credit report? My phone was shipped to me and signed for by someone else. I did not receive it. The company refuses to send me a new one, so I am disputing the charges.

- TNM

Dear TMN,

Disputing a charge on your credit card will not negatively affect your credit standing, although the credit card company may add a statement to your credit report indicating that the account is currently in dispute.

Although a dispute notation by itself would not be considered negative, potential lenders may inquire as to the nature of the dispute, and some may require that the dispute be resolved before proceeding with an application for major purchases such as a mortgage.

It is important to talk with your credit card company and be certain you understand the process for disputing charges on your account, as well as its policy for how the dispute will be reflected on your credit reports, if at all.

In some cases, you may be expected to continue to make payments on the amount in dispute while the charges are being investigated. If so, failure to make those payments while the investigation is pending would likely result in your account being reported as delinquent, which would then negatively affect your credit history and credit scores. Late payments remain on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date.

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through April 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.