Home > Credit 101 > How Do I Get a Dispute Off My Credit Report?

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Sometimes doing what you think is the right thing can have consequences you never intended. Shane, one of our readers, wanted to be sure his credit was in top condition before applying for a loan. He checked his credit reports, noticed an inaccuracy, and he disputed it. And then he applied for a loan.

And now that dispute is keeping him from getting his loan approved, or at least delaying it.

“I’m being told that it is holding up a loan I have applied for… while that note is showing that account is not factored into my score,” he told us. So he wants to get that dispute taken off his credit report as quickly as he can.

His first move should be to check with the lender about which credit bureau’s score was used for the loan decision. This matters because the credit bureaus have different procedures for taking consumer-initiated disputes off credit reports.

If Shane is really lucky, TransUnion was the credit bureau supplying the data. Because there, a phone call will do the trick. Chief Operating Officer David Emery said a consumer may call 800-916-8800 to request the consumer-initiated dispute be removed, and it will be done.

At Equifax, Shane would need to write to Equifax Consumer Services LLC,
 P.O. Box 740256
, Atlanta, GA 30374-0256, requesting that the dispute be removed, said Meredith Griffanti, senior director of public relations for Equifax.

Experian Director of Public Education Rod Griffin said the dispute should fall off Shane’s credit report automatically once the dispute is resolved. In this instance, he said, Shane should be entitled to an extra free report because the loan has been delayed by the dispute statement. He suggested Shane go to www.experian.com/reportaccess and follow instructions to get a free report, indicating that adverse action was taken. If the dispute statement is still there, the free report will show it, and will also provide contact information to get in touch with Experian if need be.

Shane’s experience is an example of why the best time to review your credit reports and scores is before you need to. Checking credit reports routinely (you are entitled to one free annual credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies) will allow you to catch and dispute mistakes early, rather than when you are trying to get a loan. Checking your credit score regularly (being careful to make sure you check the same score each time) can alert you to the possibility of fraud or identity theft. You can get two of your credit scores for free every month on Credit.com, along with personalized advice for maintaining or improving your scores.

More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:

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  • Larry Dague

    lol…a dispute narrative (disputed by consumer, account in dispute, dispute resolution pending) does NOT impact the score. But the three bureaus will not make Fannie Mae aware of this because they don’t want more “credit doctors” disputing for consumers.

    I built a model with Fair Isaacs five years before they built the model for the bureaus…while working for two of the three bureaus, I learned the deep details of these scores. The score can only read the Status, balance, limit, open and reported dates and historical delinquency.

    Unless the STATUS code is “0” or “unrated”, the score impact is not changed while the account is in dispute.

    100’s of millions of dollars in home purchases are held up because Fannie cannot understand this simple application…and none of the three bureaus will do anything to educate them.

  • Celine

    I have a very old account (6+ years)on my credit showing “in dispute”. Lender requires remove the “in dispute”. Wonder if the remove of “account in dispute” will drop my FICO.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    By law they have up to 30 days to make a correction. You could always try calling the credit bureaus where you initiated the dispute, explaining the situation, and asking if they have an update.

  • Ebony

    I have a old account in dispute it’s been that way for three weeks they have five days to respond why is it taking so long

    • http://www.credit.com/ Credit.com Credit Experts

      Do you mean you have disputed it with a credit bureau? Five days may be too soon. Here’s what Experian’s website says: “If we do not receive a response within 30 days (21 days for Maine residents), we’ll update the item as you have requested or delete the information and send you the results. When we complete our investigation process, which may take up to 30 days, we’ll send you the results”

  • kimlovesfl

    Having a dispute removed from my credit reports has been a complete nightmare for the past month. I called all of them, and Experian removed the word “dispute” quickly, within a week. TU and Equifax misunderstood what I needed, thinking I was disputing the information all over again, and the word remained. I called them, explained, in detail, exactly what i wanted to do, get a corrected report from TU a few days ago, and get the other one from Equifax today. Great, right? No, there was also a report from Experian, with the “dispute” added back in. I don’t understand why this is so hard to do, disputing the information was easy, and I wish my mortgage broker had told me about this several months ago (I was waiting for a derogatory item to drop off), instead of now, because I could have had it taken care of. This is causing me huge amounts of stress, and I’m depressed and feeling overwhelmed all the time. I’m sick of dealing with them, and if I wasn’t so desperate to buy a house, I’d wait until the item just dropped off next year.

  • Matt Morales

    We were working with National CC to fix our credit before we closed on a home. We started this process about 3-4 months ago. Our closing got
    pushed up 2 months and the lenders found some items on my wife and I accounts being disputed. We called last Friday to end the disputes how long does it take to end disputes? How can we figure out if this is off our reports without ruining our credit again? Also do you know if this will negatively affect our credit scores? We are afraid my wife’s middle score will drop below the score we need. I didn’t think this would negative affect our credit.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    It may or may not have the intended effect, but you may have to remove the disputes if you want to get approved. These articles may help: How a Credit Report Dispute Could Stop You From Buying a Home and How Do I Get a Dispute Off My Credit Reports?

  • cathie romero

    It would have been nice if the artice had at least provided the phone #’s for Equifax and Experian.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      Those bureaus did not have a phone number for the consumer to call just for that purpose. (Note if you order your report from any of the three agencies you will get a phone number you can call with questions.)

  • Carmencita

    Hi, can you offer some advice on this for me please…

    I had an old medical bill go to collections about five years ago. I set up a payment plan with the collection agency and paid it in full as of 2011. About a year ago I was victim of identity theft and started monitoring my credit report closely. When I saw that the old medical bill was showing as a collection account, I disputed it. This was before I had educated myself thoroughly about the credit reporting world. I now understand that it will show for up to 7 years. When I disputed it, I thought I was doing the right thing, because at that point I thought it should not be showing up since it was paid in full.

    My question is…should I try to remove the dispute at this point, or should I just let it sit there like that? It is showing as paid in full, $0 balance, but also states in the comments section: “Consumer disputes this account information, Collection account.”

    • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

      If you apply for a mortgage this could create a problem. You may want to request it be removed. Read these articles:
      How Do I Get a Dispute Off My Credit Reports? and What Really Happens When You Dispute Something on Your Credit Report?

      • LA310

        What is the best way to get inaccurate information removed like something that is past the 7 years since DOFD. I called the company and they have no record. They keep telling me to “dispute” with the bureaus but I can’t open disputes with them. I want these items off without putting a “dispute” on my CR. My LO offered to do it in the office but it costs money.

        • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

          If your loan officer can help you that’s probably the safest route to go. If he or she can’t then you can try providing the creditor/collector with the copy of the report that shows they are still reporting the old debt and ask them to contact the credit bureaus to remove it. But again, if time is of the essence here then you may be best off working with your loan officer to get it removed properly. (Keep good records either way in case something goes wrong.)

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