Credit Dispute – Let’s Break It Down
A credit dispute can get complicated fast. While they seem easy on paper, they require a lot of attention to detail. While you can work with a third party agency to repair/rebuild your credit, you can also fix it yourself! Yes, you heard me correctly. It is possible to fix your credit yourself in some cases without paying a dime! I’ll explain a little about what a credit dispute is, then go into detail on how you can initiate one. Let’s get this lesson started.
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Credit Dispute: Why Dispute It
There are many reasons as to why you should start a credit dispute. The main reason would be the impact credit has on almost all aspects of your finances. You always want to maximize your points. Here are some reason you should initiate a credit dispute:
- Incorrect “amount owed” information on your credit report
- Duplicate entries for the same item on your credit report
- Unknown credit account on your credit report
- An item is older than 7 years old and did not automatically fall off
In order to check what is currently on your credit report and keep up with it, I would recommend trying out a credit monitoring agency like Credit Sesame. They are a leader in credit monitoring and give you vast amounts of information on how to fix specific areas of your credit. Check them out HERE if interested. Membership is FREE!
Credit Dispute: When Do You Dispute
The first step you should take prior to starting a dispute is to reach out to the furnisher themselves. This is the company or entity that originally put the negative item on your credit report. They can (and most of the time will if you have good history with them) remove the negative mark from your credit report. This will save you a lot of time compared to having to deal with the second method, which is initiating a dispute.
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Credit Dispute: How Do You Dispute
To initiate a credit dispute, you have a few options. They are as follows
- Send an email directly to the credit bureau the inaccurate information was reported to
- Call the agency directly to dispute the credit information
- Mail a letter directly to the credit bureau
- Visit the credit bureaus website to fill out the online dispute form
Out of the 4 methods listed, the one that I had the most success (and the quickest results) with was the online form at the agencies website. It is pretty simple to fill out and takes about 10 minutes per credit bureaus. Go to the following links to fill out an online form that goes directly to the credit bureau:
Credit Dispute: What If Dispute Fails
If a credit dispute fails, it is not the end of the road. You can still continually request that the creditor validate the debt beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, if you chose to just pay the debt, you can send a Good Will Letter after the dispute process to see if the creditor can remove the negative mark in exchange for payment. While they don’t necessarily have to do this, most will do so if they empathize with the circumstance that led up to the neg. An example of a goodwill letter can be found HERE.
Keep Up With Finances
We all run into tough times where we honestly put finances in the back burner. Only problem is we tend to do this for too long when it happens. This isn’t best practice, but this is life. You never know what is going to happen.
Try your best to keep up with your finances. This is how I fell into the trap of bad credit. I stopped monitoring my credit for over a year. When I cam back, it sunk to under 500! While I was able to get it back above 640 in less than a year (SEE HERE), it was a lot of work. If you keep up with spending, you will avoid this headache in the future. We’re all in this together, so let’s try to help make a better financial future for everyone!