How to Properly Write a Credit Dispute Letter

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number, typically between 300 and 850, representing the likelihood of someone paying back a loan on time. Lower numbers reflect a poor credit score, while higher numbers reflect a good credit score. Companies use a formula known as a scoring model to generate a credit score. The scoring model uses one’s payment history information to predict repayment.

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Factors that impact your credit score include:

  • Bill paying history
  • Current unpaid debt
  • Number and type of loan accounts open
  • Available credit in use
  • New credit applications
  • Debt collection, foreclosure, or bankruptcy and how long ago it was

What is a credit dispute letter?

One may dispute information through a dispute form or write a dispute letter. A credit dispute letter is a formal document detailing why one believes certain information on one’s credit report may be inaccurate. A credit dispute letter lists items that one feels are being misreported and tells the credit reporting agency what is incorrect. The process can take up to 30 days to complete. Most negative information stays on a credit report for up to seven years.

Reasons to write a dispute letter includes:

  • An account was opened in your name due to identity theft
  • An address associated with your file has the wrong house number
  • Your credit card company has a reported late payment, but you have proof that it was not late
  • Your report shows bankruptcy, but you never went bankrupt
  • An account is closed, but it still shows open
  • Your personal information is inaccurate
  • Your statement shows an erroneous foreclosure

What is a 609 Letter?

A 609 letter is a debt validation letter inquiring about an item on your credit report. A 609 letter is named after the section of the FCRA that allows the right to request information on your credit report. A 609 letter confirms if the information on a credit report is true or false. You should send a 609 letter to the three leading credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experion). The credit reporting agencies then investigate the potential errors and make the proper corrections. It is recommended that 609 letters be sent via certified mail to track when they are received. 

What to include in a 609 Letter?

  • Your Name
  • Your Address
  • Date
  • Address of the Credit Agency
  • Re: Creditor Name, Account Number
  • Presentation of rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act in Section 609
  • Request the credit report information
  • List account names and numbers
  • Request copies of the sources that include contracts or service agreements signed
  • If those items are unavailable, request that the validity of the things cannot be determined.
  • Ask to remove invalid items from your credit history

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How to write a credit dispute?

After proving an item is an error, write a credit dispute letter. Credit dispute letters can now be completed online. You can still choose to send a credit dispute letter via certified mail. 

Include the following information in your credit dispute:

  • Your name
  • Your current address
  • Copy of government-issued Id
  • Copy of utility bill, bank statement, or insurance statement
  • A reference line that begins “RE:” that includes the name of the creditor and the account number for the item/s being disputed
  • Your social security numbers
  • The reason for the letter
  • Why do you believe the item is an error
  • A list of enclosures, including an annotated copy of your credit report
  • The resolution that you seek from the credit bureau
  • Anything you think may help your case (proof of payment, proof of account not in your name, and documents that show a matter settled in your favor)

You can mail your dispute letter with your completed forms to a credit bureau such as Experian. Or one can consider filing a dispute online. Filing a dispute does not affect your score. If a delinquent account is resolved, one’s credit score will increase. Adverse reports only remain for up to seven years.


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