How to Remove Disputes From Your Credit Report in 2 Steps

How to Remove Disputes From Your Credit Report in 2 Steps
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Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: February 17, 2018
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

In mathematics, a “proof” is a logical argument, made using established mathematical principles, that demonstrates the validity of a specific claim. For example, mathematicians don’t simply assume that 1 + 1 = 2; they can actually prove it!

While mathematicians may have elevated the idea of proof to an artistic level, they’re hardly the only ones who require you to back up your claims. Every time you dispute something on your consumer credit report, for instance, you’ll need to provide appropriate proof to validate your claim before the credit bureau will remove the disputed item.

For the most part, there is little harm from having an open dispute on your credit report — unless you want a mortgage. In this case, you’ll likely want to end your dispute (at least until after you get your loan). Thankfully, this can be done in two simple steps.

1. Check Your Credit Reports

Before you can even attempt to have your disputes removed, you need to find out exactly which disputes are still showing up on your credit report. For this, you’ll need to pull a copy of all three credit reports, one each from the three major bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can obtain one free copy of your credit report from each bureau once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com.

Screenshot of AnnualCreditReport.com Homepage

You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major bureaus every year, which you can obtain through AnnualCreditReport.com.

A number of other services will also offer free credit reports and scores, but these may not always be as complete as a report directly from the bureau. You can also purchase your reports from the bureau if a free option is not available.

2. Contact the Credit Bureaus

Once you’ve made a list of the disputes you need to close, it’s time to contact the credit bureaus to request the dispute be removed. The exact method use to contact the bureau may depend on which bureau is still showing the dispute.

If the dispute(s) are showing up on your TransUnion report, for example, it may be a simple matter of calling the customer service line (or writing a letter) and requesting to speak to the Special Handling Department to have the dispute removed.

TransUnion Dispute Removal:
800-916-8800
555 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60661

You may not have the option to call for disputes that show up on your Equifax report, as some sources say you’ll need to write a letter requesting the dispute be removed. If you’d still like to give customer service a try, some reports suggest asking for the Executive Consumer Service department may be successful.

Equifax Dispute Removal:
404-885-8300
1550 Peachtree St, NW
Atlanta, GA 30309

Removing disputes from your Experian credit report may prove to be the most challenging, according to some reports. You can try calling the customer service line and requesting the National Consumer Assistance Center or Executive Customer Service Team (sources are mixed on which will work best), or writing a letter to request removal.

Experian Dispute Removal:
714-830-7000
475 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Be sure to request dispute removals well before you really need them to be removed. While TransUnion disputes are reportedly removed right away (during the phone call, in most cases), Equifax and Experian disputes can take up to 72 hours to be removed from your reports. Additionally, some disputes may need to be ended by the creditor, rather than by request of the consumer, so you may need to factor in time for some back-and-forth to get this accomplished.

You May Be Able to Re-File Your Dispute in the Future

In some cases, you may feel your dispute should have resulted in the removal of the item in question, despite the need to end the dispute before it could be resolved. You may be able to refile a credit report dispute after you’ve obtained your mortgage loan, giving you another shot at having the disputed item removed from your report.

If you do choose to refile your dispute, you may want to consider hiring a reputable credit repair company to do the work on your behalf. An experienced company may have a better chance of successfully disputing any questionable items, and can often save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run. Our top-rated credit repair companies have decades of experience helping consumers successfully remove disputed items from their credit reports.

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Keep in mind that even the most experienced credit repair company can’t accomplish the impossible. If your creditors can back up their claims on any disputed items, the credit bureaus are under no obligation to remove those items, no matter how many disputes you file. Credit report disputes are intended to be used to remove erroneous, outdated, fraudulent, and unsubstantiated items — not debts that you legitimately owe.

Avoid Frivolous Credit Report Disputes

As any mathematician can tell you, any claims you make without a logical proof to back them up are often not worth the paper they’re printed on. And mathematicians aren’t the only ones who believe proof is important; the credit bureaus are likely to agree. Without enough information to substantiate your dispute, it will be quickly rejected by the bureaus.

Furthermore, despite the fact that the internet is awash with reports of consumers getting rid of thousands in unpaid debts through credit repair, be cautious about filing frivolous credit report disputes. While the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires credit bureaus to investigate consumer disputes in a timely manner, the law does give them some leeway to stop consumers from abusing the process.

Specifically, the credit bureaus do not have to investigate any credit report disputes they consider to be frivolous or irrelevant in nature. So, if you file disputes for every negative item listed on your report, regardless of your ability to back up those disputes, the bureau may flag your disputes as frivolous. This can also be the case when refiling disputes repeatedly for the same item.