How Disputing Information on Your Credit Report Affects Your Credit

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If you've recently disputed something on your Experian credit report through Experian's Online Dispute Center, you may be looking at your results and wondering, "What do these results mean for me and what do I do now?"

To help you understand the results of your dispute once it is complete, here are descriptions of the possible outcomes of your dispute that you will see in the main "Alerts" section of your Experian account.

Disputes Related to Accounts or Public Records

  • Updated: This can mean a couple different things, such as:
    • The information you disputed has been updated
    • The information you disputed might have been verified as accurate by the financial institution, but other information on your account unrelated to your dispute has been updated.
  • Deleted: The item was removed from your credit report.
  • Processed: The item was updated or deleted from your credit report.
  • Remains: The company reporting the information has certified to Experian that the information is accurate, so the item has not changed.

Disputes Related to Your Personal Information or an Inquiry

  • Added: This item was added to your credit report.
  • Updated: The information you disputed has been updated on your credit report.
  • Address Updated: This may appear to you as ‘deleted' as your address is updated to the current address.
  • Deleted: The item was removed from your credit report.
  • Processed: The item was either updated or deleted.
  • Remains: The company reporting the information has certified to Experian that the information is accurate, so the item has not changed.

How Will the Results of My Dispute Impact My Credit Scores?

Filing a dispute has no impact on your score, however, if information on your credit report changes after your dispute is processed, your credit scores could change.

How it changes—whether it goes up, down or stays the same—is dependent on what you are disputing and the outcome of the dispute. For example, late payments have a negative impact on credit scores; if a late payment was mistakenly reported on your credit report, and you had this incorrect information removed through the dispute process, your credit scores will most likely improve.

Some information on your credit report has no impact on credit scores, such as identification and address information. If you corrected this type of information, it will not affect your credit scores.

After your dispute is completed, (this generally takes about 30 days) log in to your Experian account to see how your dispute affected your FICO® Score from Experian. This helpful FICO® Score infographic can help you understand more about your score and how lenders view your creditworthiness.

How Long Will Information Stay on My Credit Report?

By law, most negative information, such as a late payment, is required to stay on your credit report for seven years. Positive information can remain on your credit report indefinitely. See How Long Does Something Stay on my Credit Report for more information.

What If I Disagree With the Outcome of My Dispute?

If you receive your dispute results and don't agree with them, you have a few options:

1. Contact the Source of the Information

Your best next step is to contact the entity who originally provided the information to Experian. This is usually the creditor, lender or financial institution that provided the loan or credit initially, but could also be a collection agency or office of the government. The contact details for the source of each piece of information appears on your credit report. View your credit report to get the contact information.

2. Add a Statement of Dispute

A statement of dispute allows you to explain why you believe the information is inaccurate or incomplete. The statement will appear on your Experian credit report whenever it's accessed or requested by a potential lender or creditor, so they may ask you for more details or documentation as part of their review or application process. To add a statement of dispute, go to the Dispute Center, choose the item in dispute, and select "Add a Statement" from the menu of dispute reasons.

3. Dispute Again With Relevant Information

If you have additional relevant information to substantiate your claim, you can submit a new dispute by uploading the additional documentation through Experian's Online Dispute Center. Once your dispute has been submitted you will be presented with a link to upload supporting documentation.

You can also access the doc upload screen from your dispute results. Dispute with additional relevant information can also be submitted by mail to Experian at Experian, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013.

Congratulations on taking an active role in managing your credit report through the dispute process. Remember, check your credit report regularly to keep it in tip-top shape and to make sure your credit scores are as high as possible so you are ready to get credit when you need it.