Dispute Wisely. Credit Bureaus Can Toss Your Disputes.
Credit report disputes are the best tool you have for getting inaccurate information removed from your credit report. Every person has the right to an accurate and complete credit report. When you find errors on your credit report, you can clear them up by writing to the credit bureaus letting them know there’s an error on your credit report. The credit bureau is required to investigate your dispute and update your credit report accordingly.
Dispute Responsibly to Avoid Frivolous Disputes
There’s a lot of bad advice floating around the internet when it comes to credit report disputes. Some websites and forums tell you to keep disputing information over and over again until it finally falls off your credit report. There’s advice that you should dispute everything on your credit report. And some even say you should be vague when you dispute something on your credit report and let the credit bureaus figure it out.
Normally credit bureaus are required to investigate disputes by contacting the creditor to double check the information. Unfortunately, following bad credit report dispute advice could get your credit reports thrown in the trash, with absolutely no investigation into whether the information is accurate. Instead of getting a letter back from the credit bureau saying the information has been deleted from your credit report, you might instead get one that reads something like:
“We deem you to have made a frivolous dispute. Therefore we will not investigate or change it.”
When you’re trying to clean up your credit report and raise your credit score, the last thing you need is to have the the credit bureaus ignore your disputes. And they’re within their rights to declare your disputes as frivolous under certain circumstances.
What is a Frivolous Dispute?
A frivolous dispute means the credit bureau isn’t going to take your dispute seriously. No matter how detailed your dispute is or how many times you’ve sent the dispute letter, if the credit bureau (reasonably) determines that your dispute is frivolous, they won’t put any effort into reinvestigating your dispute to determine whether the information is actually inaccurate. This can be a huge block for getting ready for a mortgage or auto loan application, and incredibly frustrating when the information is actually inaccurate and you can prove it.
Credit bureaus have the right to determine whether disputes are frivolous or irrelevant. They typically decide a dispute is frivolous if your dispute doesn’t have enough information to perform an investigation. This is why you shouldn’t send vague dispute letters with your fingers crossed that you get lucky and the information drops off your credit report.
Credit bureaus might also say your dispute is frivolous if you send the exact same dispute letter repeatedly or if you’ve submitted multiple disputes in a short period of time.
When a credit bureau finds that your dispute is frivolous, they’re required to send you a letter within 5 business days. They’re also required to let you know what information you need to submit to get an actual investigation of your dispute.
How You Can Avoid Frivolous Disputes
The worst way to respond to a frivolous dispute letter from the credit bureaus is to send the exact same dispute again.
Here’s what you should do instead:
Purchase the Luxurious Credit Guide. The Luxurious Credit Guide is a step by step DIY credit repair guide that shows you to write effective dispute letters and how to properly communicate with the credit bureaus to ensure that inaccurate information on your credit is corrected.
If you re-dispute something on your credit report, you should provide additional, relevant information the next time. Include a more specific description of what you’re disputing and provide copies of evidence that supports your dispute.
Digging up evidence may require you to do some additional work. You may have to pull up old records, download old bank statements, or even contact the business to get documentation for your account. This extra work is worth it if it means getting damaging errors off your credit report. For example, if you have a collection reporting as unpaid even though you actually paid it, getting it corrected is essential to getting a mortgage application approved.
Otherwise, if you just dispute the same information again without sending extra information or proof of your dispute, the credit bureau can toss your dispute and send you a form letter declaring your dispute as frivolous.
To have your disputes taken seriously, you should also avoid sending template dispute letters that you’ve downloaded from the internet. Always customize your own dispute letter based on the specific information in your credit report. If you need a recent copy of your credit report, you can download one for free by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.