Home > Credit Score > What Happens After a TransUnion Dispute—Or a Dispute at Any Credit Bureau?

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Finding a mistake on your credit report can be frustrating. Those errors can have a negative impact on your credit score. Submitting a credit dispute to the reporting bureaus is the first step in the process of correcting inaccurate information and improving your score.

But what comes next? How do credit bureaus fix the error? What effect does a dispute have on your credit score? Here’s the whole story on what happens when you submit a TransUnion dispute or a dispute at one of the other credit bureaus.

How Do You Dispute an Inquiry or Other Negative Item on Your Credit Report?

You have the right to a fair and accurate credit report. And you can dispute information on your credit report if you think it’s not accurate. You can follow steps for DIY credit disputes or work with professionals to get the job done. Typically, the process starts with a credit dispute letter.

What Happens After You Open a Dispute?

While disputed information is being reviewed by a credit bureau, it is not typically labeled as disputed on your credit report. And each of the three credit bureaus has their own process for dealing with disputes. They all reach out to the creditor or entity that provided the information in dispute as part of the investigation.

Experian Disputes

When you file a credit dispute with Experian, the agency reaches out to the entity that provided the information. Typically, that’s the creditor.

The business that provided the information in question has 30-45 days from the date you submitted your request to respond back. In some states, the time limit may be shorter.

When Experian receives a response, it notifies you of the results of the investigation. If it doesn’t get a response in the allotted time, Experian will correct the disputed information as you requested or delete the disputed information. During the investigation process, Experian does not add a comment, note or any other indication of a dispute on your credit report.

TransUnion Dispute

TransUnion also follows up with the entity that reported the information. Based on the information you provided and the information provided by the creditor, the bureau makes a decision about the dispute.

How long does a dispute take with TransUnion? TransUnion usually finishes an investigation and provides you the results about 30 days from the receipt of your dispute. But the company recommends preparing to wait for up to 45 days.

TransUnion does not note your credit file when an investigation is in process. It will change the disputed information as you requested if the creditor does not respond in a timely manner.

Equifax Disputes

Equifax notifies you of the results of a dispute within 30 days. On average, disputes are resolved within ten days.

Unlike the other two agencies, Equifax does indication an item is under dispute on your credit report during the investigation.

On Equifax reports, the item will be “noted as ‘Consumer Disputes—Reinvestigation in Process” says Meredith Griffanti, senior director of public relations for Equifax. “If the consumer applies for credit during this time, the potential creditor will see this comment.”

Credit Disputes with Creditors

It is your right to dispute information that you believe to be inaccurate on your credit report. The overall process for disputing inaccurate information with creditors is similar to that of disputing information with the credit reporting agencies, but with one important difference. If you dispute an item directly with the furnisher, it will very likely be noted as “disputed” on your credit report for potential lenders to see.

Once you submit a dispute, the creditor has a duty to investigate your claim, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In most cases, the creditor is expected to respond to your claim within 30 to 45 days and to inform you of the results of its investigation within five business days.

The creditor must notify the credit reporting agencies that you have disputed information. If it finds that the information is indeed incorrect, it must promptly provide accurate information to the reporting agencies. If you have received notice that the creditor agrees with your dispute, send a copy of that documentation to the credit bureau that reported the information to ensure it gets updated.

What Happens When You Dispute Something on Your Credit Report and Get Denied?

The initial investigation conducted by the credit bureaus isn’t extremely thorough. It amounts to them contacting the creditor or reporting entity and asking if the information is true. The documentation that the creditor must provide to verify the debt is not typically substantial. So, it’s possible that your initial dispute is denied and the inaccurate information remains on your report.

When that happens, you can escalate the dispute by sending additional information to make your case. According to TransUnion, examples of supporting documentation for a dispute include letters from the creditor, canceled checks showing payment or accurate bills or statements that document your case.

One option many people consider is working with a professional credit repair firm. These firms do all the same things you can do on your own to dispute information. However, they tend to do them faster and with greater aggression and expertise, which can provide you with peace of mind and help make a positive outcome more likely.

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  • Keel-Keel

    I had recently sent a letter to Mid-Atlantic about supplying me a binding contract bearing my signature, then I wrote this item is being disputed. They sent a response letter back to me two times at different times. The first letter, they did not provide the contract with my signature. The second letter, they provided me with my contract that I signed at a car dealership bearing my signature. Then I waited till 30 days to see if they have provided the statement, “consumer disputed and agree with findings” something similar to that affect. I checked my credit reports and they provided nothing at all. I recently sent them another letter that I was going to take them to small claim court for violating the FCRA law. They sent the second letter to me again with a contract bearing my signature. I was not expecting that response back from them. I want to know what else can be done? Can I take them to small claim court because I have a case. I have sent a certified letter to them and I have all my letters that I sent to them and their response letters back to me. Did they violate the FCRA law and if so why are they acting like they did nothing wrong?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      You may want to consult a consumer attorney for your best recourse here.

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

      • Keel-Keel

        Hello Jeanine, I filed a complaint on this company Mid-Atlantic Finance to the C F P B, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and they got in touched with them. I mean I had my stuff together where Mid-Atlantic Finance could not tell a lie. I had prove to back up about what I had mailed to them and their response back me. I sent certified letters to the company-Mid-Atlantic Finance, so they couldn’t even say they didn’t receive my letters. CFPB really do investigate companies that consumers complaint about and they let me know what this company had said. After all my letters to Mid-Atlantic Finance, I actually told CFPB to tell me that, I quote,” we are sorry for the misunderstanding and we will delete all trade line.” Okay, at first I was okay with it, but I really didn’t understand what trade line was nor what they meant by that, so I looked up that trade line stuff and found out it meant they would delete the account under my name. Well, I let CFPB know that I was not completely satisfied with Mid-Atlantic Finance’s response. Now CFPB will get back in contact with them once more to get a full response to my satisfaction. And they still have not delete the trade line they have with me off my credit reports. I told CFPB I will give Mid-Atlantic Finance Company till the end of Jan.2017 to delete their entry off my credit report, or I will be moving to the next step.

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    You can file a dispute with your creditor as well. Information on how to do so should be available on their website.

    Thanks,

    Jeanine

  • Alan

    Hello,
    I had a business account for an LLC of which I was the primary. Two of us paid our debts and one did not. The payments fell behind when one partner did not make payments, but I ended up paying off the account. Since I was the primary, the account negatively impacted my personal credit. Would a dispute help keep this one account from negatively impacting my credit score? If so, what approach should I take?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Your ability to successfully dispute the information on your personal credit reports hinges on whether you signed on personal guarantee on the line in question. If so, then those debts generally appear on your personal credit reports.

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

  • Heidi

    Hi,
    I recently ran my credit report. On two credit reports the judgement from 2010 was not there. On Trans-union it was present. I was provided info to dispute the judgement. My fear is where it can be removed off my report in a few months (7 years) I am afraid if I dispute it… it will sort of re-activate the judgement with a current date?? Could that happen? Any suggestions? Thank you… Heidi

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Disputing should have no bearing on the debt date.

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    So I’m clear as to what happened regarding scores, but a judgment can stay on your report for up to seven years, even if it was paid. It should be showing up as paid on the credit report. If it’s not, you can dispute that. Here’s more info:

    https://www.credit.com/credit-repair/how-long-do-things-stay-on-your-credit-report/

    Thanks,

    Jeanine

  • Josie Perez

    Hi, I had 91-120 days on my credit report. The bureau confirmed it. I paid it in full when it had that status and 17 days after, the bank reports a charge off. I sent a dispute to the bank and the only change they made is that now appears as paid charge off and before said transfer/sold that was 2 days after they received my dispute. Now, I sent a dispute to the credit bureau with all the proofs. What do you think will happen? or give me an advise, please.

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

    Hi there. We asked some experts about your situation and wrote a story about it: http://blog.credit.com/2016/07/i-closed-an-account-when-will-it-disappear-from-my-credit-report-151013/ We hope this helps!

  • CoosCoos

    I had a collection item on my credit report which I disputed, and the collection was removed. Two weeks later it was added as a ‘new’ collection with all the exact same information plus an additional note under remarks that says “consumer disputes this account information”. Is that legal/allowed? Should I dispute it again? And continue to dispute it each time it’s re-added?

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

    It sounds like you may want to get a professional to help you with this. See if you can get a consumer law attorney to review your case for free to see what your options are.

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

    You might want to run this buy a consumer law attorney or bankruptcy attorney. Many attorneys will review your case for free so you can decide if you need to take legal action or not.

  • http://blog.credit.com/author/christine-digangi/ Christine DiGangi

    You have to dispute with each credit reporting agency. You might find this helpful: https://www.credit.com/credit-repair/dispute-credit-report-error/

  • http://blog.credit.com/ Kali Geldis

    Hi ahg —

    Since the inquiries were less than a week apart, the vast majority of credit scoring models will group them together as one hard inquiry — this is done to allow people to shop around confident that they won’t be penalized. They may appear on your credit report as separate hard inquiries, but your score should only consider them as one inquiry.

  • EliHobbes

    I work in one state and live in another. The state that I work in constantly fouls up my taxes and now its impacted my credit. I’ve had issues for the past ten years with them losing my filed taxes, finding them only to be told the next time I talk with them that “I never filed them”. It’s quite aggrevating. Most years I am due a refund.

    In preparing for a home loan I found two court judgments against me by the state. One for over $2,000. I had to pay $50 to clear that one up. The other, for $600, was supposedly cleared the same month that it was filed in 2013.

    I’ve haven’t looked at the specific years but there was no year where I owed more than $100 to this state. The $2,000 judgement would be one of those years where they say I never filed.

    Last year in order to stave off future issues I started paying an extra $60 per year to file them electronically with the tax software that I use.

    Naturally I will dispute them online. My question is about the likelyhood of them being completely removed vs. being listed as a satisfied judgement. If able I will provide the bureaus with the data from the tax years. Does that state have to verify to the bureaus the legitimacy of the claim they made in court or simply verify that a court judgment was made? However erroneous, the fact remains that the state did file a claim in court and an judgement was made by the court. (Not that I knew anything about it until after the fact).

    Thanks

  • Gilbert Williams

    So I had a civial judgment appear on my credit that was my dad’s. I have contacted all three bureaus and made sure it was completely removed. This debt was never attached to my name in any way shape or form. Will I immediately receive the points back onto my score for a judgment that wasn’t mine to begin with?

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Your score should rebound as soon as the judgment is removed.

      Thanks,

      Jeanine

  • Jeanine Skowronski

    It could. It all depends on what is you are disputing and the rest of your credit profile.

    Thank you,

    Jeanine

  • Barbara Repko

    I disputed online about a [redacted] charge off balance, which they were reporting with defaulted balance but a current delinquent monthly payment and a delinquent amount different than charged off full balance. A few weeks later they changed it to an unsecured loan and listed as a new delinquent account, though it was from 2012. This is now showing as a current delinquent loan instead of old credit card charge off!

  • Maggie M

    Hi, there was an item put on my credit in July this year which cause me to lose 55 points , i disputed the account and was proving fraud and the company asked the bureau to removed it in Sept which it was but my score is still affected by it. Question, do I get back my points(55 points lost cause of this) or does it remains the way it is

    • Jeanine Skowronski

      Hi, Maggie,

      You can check on the credit report to see if the item in question is still being reported. If it is, you can try filing a dispute with the credit bureaus to have it removed. You can find more information on how to do so here: How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit Report.

      Thank you,

      Jeanine

      • Maggie M

        Hi Jeanine, i did dispute it and it was found to be fraud and remove from my credit report but my score is still 55 pointboff. W hen i called [Redacted], they said there’s nothing they can do about the point asbit is computer generated ( quote the system removed the points when thenitem wasbput on my credit but the system can not put back the points lost because of the fraudulent item .

  • PC

    I had an account that was “closed at consumers request, settlement made” from 2009.
    It was just changed to “Written-off”

    I did settle this account and have a letter to prove it. Should I contact the credit bureau and ask them to correct it or will this affect my last date of activity.
    Thank you

  • Kevin

    I had a judgment on my credit report that was paid 2 years ago. I tried searching it on the county clerk’s website recently and cannot even find any documentation of it. However, it is still listed on my credit reports. How can I get it off? I already tried disputing with the credit agencies 2 years ago right after I paid it (too soon?) and they just verified it and made no changes on the judgment on the credit reports.

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

      Kevin —
      A paid judgment can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years. However, it will have less impact on your scores as time goes on and as you add more positive information. We wrote a post about it, and that might be useful to you. Here it is:
      I Found a Judgment on My Credit Report. Now What?

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

    I am sorry I am confused. Is anything reported? It sounds like you said they removed it – no? I don’t understand how it can be listed as disputed if it’s gone.

    • Rosa Gomez

      HI Gerri Detweiler I accounts are deleted after I dispute them, will they ever come back on credit report?

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

        They shouldn’t but it does happen. We wrote about it here: Credit Deja Vu: When Negative Information Keeps Showing Up on Your Credit Report

        • Rosa Gomez

          i just got a letter fro the 3 credit bureaus and it says that the account has been removed, but i never paid it..and this morning i got a call from the collection agency demanding payment..i don’t know what to do..pay it or fax them proof of removal?

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

            Removal from your credit reports doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t owe it. This article explains:
            Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

          • Renee

            I am set to close in 30 days and a collection popped up on my credit report. Should I tell the lender now so I can address it or contact the collection agency to work out a paid account?

        • Rosa Gomez

          Thanks..I hired a credit repair company and i got letters from the credit bureuas saying these accounts have been removed..but i got a call today from collector demanding payment, i never paid it.so should i pay it or will it not show up on credit if i am tryig to buy a house?

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

            I see no reason why a collection account from 2005 should show up on your credit reports. Collection accounts may be reported seven years plus 180 days from the date you fell behind with the original creditor. This sounds way too old for that if it dates back to 2005.

            As for the letter, check the statute of limitations. If it’s too old (and in many states it sounds like it would be) write them a certified letter stating that you know the debt is too old. Read: Statute of Limitations On Debt Collection by State

            The only wrinkle I can see here, provided I understand the situation correctly, is if the SOL has not expired and they sue you and get a judgment. In that case the judgment would have its own reporting period.

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