One negative item on your credit report can have a huge impact on your borrowing power. It can make your credit score plummet, raise your interest rates and even make it difficult for you to obtain credit. Here’s how to dispute credit report and win if you have a negative item!
How to dispute credit report and win: getting started.
Your credit report is an important part of your credit health. While your credit score is important too, your report gives you a breakdown of all the items you have. If you’re trying to figure out how to dispute credit report and win, you need your report to see what you need to dispute. Great news, though! You can get your full credit report for each bureau once every year…for free!
The site is authorized by federal law and can help you learn about everything on your report. You will need to verify your identity, but you won’t need a credit card! Keep in mind you won’t get your score from this site (don’t worry, we’ll show you how to get your scores for free).
Take your time and go over everything that’s on your report. You can download the reports as PDF files, but it might be easier to print them. (Don’t have a printer? You can probably use one at your library if you have a library card.) Once you print it off, you can circle or highlight anything you find suspicious on the report. If you don’t think you owe the debt, if it belongs to someone else or you have no record of it, make a note of it so you can go back and dispute it later.
When should you dispute?
One thing to note when you’re filing a dispute is you should not do it if you have any big purchases coming up. If you’re shopping around for a mortgage, a car loan or anything that comes with a lot of borrowing, you should probably avoid disputing. Having an open dispute could make it difficult for you to get good mortgage rates.
If you have a lot of open disputes, it may make it even harder for you to get the mortgage you need. If you’ve already started a dispute, it’s definitely a good idea to wait before trying to get a mortgage or vehicle loan. The good news is most disputes do not take a long time. You can have a dispute open, investigated and back off of your report within just a few weeks if you’re able to do it electronically.
The sooner you dispute after realizing you have an error on your report, the better. Unlike obtaining new credit or applying for credit, there aren’t many “wrong” times to file a dispute on your credit report. Make sure you do the dispute the right way.
This is the easiest way to dispute your credit report.
A Transunion dispute, equifax dispute and experian dispute are all different! When you’re learning about how to dispute credit report and win, you need to make sure you know how to do it with all three of the credit bureaus. You can do two of them easily through Credit Karma. The free site allows you to see your credit score in real time. You can get alerts about any changes to the score, information on what’s making your score drop (or rise) and a detailed plan about how to fix it. Now, you can also dispute credit factors using the site.
Some disputes and some people may require you to do it through the mail instead of online. In these cases, you’ll need to fill out the form on the credit bureau website. You’ll have to put detailed information about what you’re disputing and why. From there, you can communicate both in the mail and online with the bureau to learn if the dispute is resolved.
Top 3 mistakes to avoid when you’re disputing.
- Do not dispute something the second it comes on your credit report. Make sure you give it time to make it onto all three of your credit reports. If you find something on your report that seems out of place, mark it and give it some time to go away. Believe it or not, the credit bureaus do make mistakes that they quickly catch and fix. This may be one of those things. If you dispute everything on your report as soon as it comes on there, it may look like you’re not legitimately disputing the items and just doing it to get things off your credit report.
- Always be honest when you’re disputing. If you know something is yours and you just dispute it to try and get it off your report, that might backfire. If you do this too many times, credit bureaus may not look at your disputes when you have a legitimate one. It’s a good idea to have evidence you can use when you’re filing a dispute.
- Make sure you file a dispute with all the credit bureaus. To find out how to dispute credit report and win, you need to look at every bureau. You need to do a Transunion dispute, an Equifax dispute and an Experian dispute. By only disputing with one or two credit bureaus, you could still hurt your credit score even if the items come off of those two! If an item isn’t on one of the reports, make sure to check back because it might have just not been added yet.
Get your credit back on track after a dispute.
Once you’ve figured out how to dispute credit report and win, it’s time to start building your credit back up. Often, when you dispute and win, your credit score will come up a couple of points. Sometimes, for big items, your score can rise dramatically. It’s important to make sure you continue working on your score. Here are some things you can do to keep building your credit up:
- Fix medical debt.
- Consider adding real estate to your credit report.
- Keep track of your score.
- Consolidate some of your debt into one loan.
- Use credit cards responsibly.