Being in the credit reporting business for years, we’re constantly asked how to remove or update information on a credit report that is driving down an individual’s credit score. As a property manager who screens tenant credit reports, you probably get asked that as well. Your applicants have likely said, “My score should be higher than that. That information should have been removed! What do I do?”
Here we’ve outlined the steps a consumer should take in disputing information on their credit report which you can share with your applicants.
Most Credit bureaus have a similar 4-step process to facilitate dispute investigations so that resolutions are reached. Here’s how the process works:
Step 1: The consumer identifies inaccurate information on their most recent credit report.
Step 2: The consumer selects and completes the most convenient method (online, phone or mail) for them to contact the credit bureau to initiate a dispute investigation.
Step 3: The credit bureau contacts the data provider that reported the information and asks the data provider to verify the information in question. The source might have up to 45 days to verify whether the information is correct.
Step 4: The credit bureau documents the outcome of the investigation and makes any necessary changes to the consumer’s credit report. The credit bureau will notify the consumer of the outcome of their dispute approximately three to five business days after the investigation is complete. If the dispute was initiated online, they will notify the consumer via e-mail and they can view the results of the investigation immediately.
If a consumer submits more than one dispute at the same time, the credit bureau will investigate all of the records in question during the same time period. At the conclusion of the investigation, the consumer will receive a credit report reflecting all of the results.
If the consumer disagrees with the results of an investigation of their credit report, they have the right to add a 100-word consumer statement to their report that explains their side of the situation. The credit bureau’s customer service representatives are available to assist the consumer in writing their statement. Creditors or lenders may review the consumer statement and take it into consideration when making their credit decisions. The statement remains on the credit report until the consumer requests that it be removed.
The credit bureaus’ goal is to report the most accurate information possible. Consumers are encouraged to always use this dispute process to ensure their information is provided correctly to creditors.
Bureau contact information:
Trans Union Consumer Disputes P. O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022 Phone 800-916-8800 https://dispute.transunion.com/dp/dispute/landingPage.jsp
Experian Consumer Disputes P.O. Box 2002 Allen, TX 75013 Phone 888-397-3742 http://www.experian.com/disputes/
Equifax Consumer Disputes P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374 Phone 800-685-1111 https://help.equifax.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/32/~/correcting-errors-on-your-credit-file