How to Write a Credit Dispute Letter
Writing a quality credit dispute letter will help you get the results you want to improve your credit score. There are many samples available on the Internet, but you have to ensure that they contain certain elements before you copy and use them. Here are some qualities of a successful credit dispute letter and advice on including them in yours.
Customize Letters for Each Bureau — The first thing you’ll need to do is order free copies of your reports from the three major credit bureaus. Each bureau has its own information, and you may have records that show up on one but not the others. When you write your letter, you’ll need to customize it to address the credit bureau that is reporting the record you want to dispute. For example, your TransUnion credit report may show an error from Company A, but Experian may not have any records from Company A. You wouldn’t want to send a generic letter asking Experian to remove a record that doesn’t exist as far as it is concerned. That’s why you need all three credit reports, and you have to be careful that your letter matches what’s actually on the report.
Give Detailed Information — It’s not enough to say that you’re writing to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report. You should spend a paragraph or more explaining the details so that the investigator is clear about the claims you’re making and has enough facts to grant your request. Start by naming the company and the transaction reported. Then explain why the information is inaccurate or incomplete. A vague credit dispute letter won’t get you far. You may just end up with a letter back asking for more details, or you’ll otherwise delay the investigation.
Enclose Evidence to Support Your Letter — The way to strengthen your credit dispute letter is to write that you’re enclosing documentation to further explain or support why the information should be deleted or modified. Then follow up by attaching documentation. For example, if you’re writing to explain that you paid the debt in full, then submit a copy of the letter that you received from the creditor acknowledging that the entire debt was paid. If you initiated or were a party to a lawsuit that pertains to a record you want to dispute on your credit report, then you should include copies of court paperwork that supports the modification of the record. The less work that the investigator has to do in order to ascertain the facts, the more successful you’ll be in getting what you’ve asked for.
Provide Your Full Contact Information — Don’t forget to enclose your up-to-date address and other contact information for correspondence with the major credit bureaus. Investigators may need to send you letters requesting more information or to notify you of the decision made regarding your request. Include your telephone number as well in case they want to reach you by phone.
It’s fine to use a template as long as you customize it to include these qualities of a successful credit dispute letter. You should also send it by certified mail.