Creating a credit dispute letter to send to the bureaus can be as easy or hard as you make it. While we provide example credit dispute letters, we always encourage those looking to dispute their credit to write their own version. The most important factors are:
1) Keep it simple. No need to use fancy language or get into a long heart-breaking story of how your credit got messed up, simply tell the bureau that you think the item is inaccurate, misleading, biased, erroneous, outdated, obsolete, or simply unverifiable—then ask them to verify the item with the creditor.
2) Include everything. A common mistake that is made when sending a credit dispute letter is people will forget to include the information the bureaus needs to be able to open an investigation into the negative credit listing. Be sure to include your full name, address, social security number, and the creditor name and account number for the listing. Without any of the items, the bureau will send you a letter “stalling” the investigation and asking for more information.
3) Have patience. When you send a letter, it will take some time to get to the bureau, be opened, processed, and then (if the bureau does not find your claim “frivolous”) it takes some time to open the investigation with the creditor. Only then does the 30 days begin that the creditor has to respond with the information the bureau is looking for. Once the creditor responds (or the 30 days expires with no respons) the bureau will send an update into the investigation back to you. This entire process make take upwards of 60 days. So, waiting 2 months for a response to your letter is the norm. Check out the credit repair timeline to see how long it takes to get your credit to a satisfactory level.
No, what you get back from the bureaus may be as equally baffling as trying to decipher their reports in the first place. We have a handy guide that shows what the response letters can mean, and what you should do in the aftermath.
You can also skip the dispute letter process and simply dispute the questionable item directly with the bureau by signing up with a credit monitoring service.