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If you are in the planning stages of your home loan, you’ll definitely want to pull your credit report and review the contents. If you have never seen your credit report before, you are not ready to fill out a home loan application.

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How to Dispute Your Credit Report

July 11, 2020

How to Dispute Your Credit Report
Credit monitoring is, for many, the key to maintaining good credit scores and avoiding the spectre of undetected identity theft damaging those scores. If you don’t know the contents of your credit report or how credit reporting works, you are at a big disadvantage at loan application time.

If you are in the planning stages of your home loan, you’ll definitely want to pull your credit report and review the contents. If you have never seen your credit report before, you are not ready to fill out a home loan application and will definitely need time to examine what’s been reported about you and your credit activities.

One reason it’s so important to do this early? The fact that it takes substantial time to dispute inaccurate, outdated information that may be on your credit report. It takes even more time to dispute entries in your credit file that point to you being a victim of identity theft.

Why? You’ll be required to file police reports to dispute identity theft issues on your account and you’ll need to do this with all three credit reporting agencies assuming the same information is reported on all three reports. That takes time to verify, and each credit reporting agency may have different procedures for handling such disputes.

And how do you begin filing a dispute? There are some simple steps to follow. The first is to remember that you want to have a paper trail on the dispute so its important to write a formal letter to the credit reporting agencies individually--these agencies do not share information so be prepared to do everything three times.

When you write your formal letter, explain what specific items on the credit report you are contesting and why. Explain why the entry in your report is not accurate, and be sure to include supporting documentation to reinforce your claim:
 
  • Any canceled checks or other proof of payment.
  • Evidence that information in your report not reflected accurately is wrong, especially where current or past addresses are concerned.
  • Do not submit original documents.
  • Include your most current contact information.
  • Send your dispute letter by Registered Mail or other “delivery confirmation required” service.

The consumer reporting agency or the creditor generally has 30-45 days to investigate your claim--don’t forget that you may have to send such letters to the creditor in question as well as the credit reporting agency.

As mentioned above, never send originals of any supporting documentation--always send copies, always send your correspondence by mail where a receipt confirmation is required and don’t assume that filing your online dispute does NOT require you to file the dispute in writing as described above.

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