by Matt Cook /
April 30, 2021 /
Credit Reporting Errors

Dispute Credit Report Errors

credit repair

How to dispute credit report : Dispute Credit Report Errors | Cook Law, LLC

There is a federal law that regulates all of the credit reporting activity and the credit bureaus. It is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or for short, FCRA. This three big credit reporting bureaus that people think of when they want to dispute credit report errors are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. FCRA also regulates any collection agency that credit credit reports and credit furnishers. Credit furnishers are usually banks, loans, mortgages, care notes, credit cards, who report positive or negative to your account. Medical, utility, cell phone and other types of bills do not report to your credit report. They only report negative if you are in collections or delinquent with them. Any one can dispute credit report errors and you do not need to hire a “credit repair” agency to do so. Although, Cook Law is a law firm that can assist you in writing dispute letters to the credit bureaus. They help people on various faucets of the credit disputing and credit reporting arena. They have extensive experience in guiding you through the entire credit dispute process as well as filing lawsuits against credit bureaus and credit furnishers.

At Cook Law they can assist you in getting a free copy of your credit report, advise you on how to properly dispute negative items in your credit report, how to read the results from the credit bureaus and overall how to get derogatory and inaccurate removed or fixed from your reports. Often times a consumer does not discovery that an account is hurting them until it is too late and they have their credit pulled. That is why it is important to make annual checks on your credit report to ensure it is accurate and up to date. If you get denied credit or housing because of a credit reporting error it could take months to get the item fixed. That is why it is very important to promptly dispute credit report errors once they occur.

What is a Credit Error

Someone may think that if they have a whole bunch of bad stuff on their credit report that they can just pay someone to dispute these items and it will all go away. These could be bankruptcies, charged-off credit cards or collections. Nothing is further from the truth and any one who tells you otherwise is either not an attorney and/or does know the law. A credit error is a broad term but is generally defined as an item that is inaccurate or something is left off of an account so that is wrong. These credit errors are usually something is paid, not owed, does not belong to someone, has an incorrect balance or is an account that the consumer has no idea what it is.

Although you can dispute any account or item on your credit report, the only requires the bureaus to maintain accurate credit reporting. This means if you dispute items that are accurate (ie a previously filed bankruptcy) then the bureaus have no obligation to remove this account. If, however, you have an item that you dispute and have proof of the inaccuracy the credit bureaus and furnishers have an obligation to fix or remove the credit error. If they do not then they are violating the law, or FCRA. You can contact Cook Law to learn how to properly dispute credit report errors or keep reading.

How to Properly Dispute Credit Errors

You need to have a copy of your credit report so you can review it to see if there any credit errors. You can get one free copy a year of your report from You just need to follow some easy steps and put in your personal information and your credit reports will populate. It is important to save your these reports as attachments to your computer so you always have copies of them. That way you can have access at a later date. If you put in application for a loan or credit card and were denied financing (or suffered some type of adverse lending action) then the bank is suppose to give you a letter under FCRA that states you were denied and where you can obtain a free copy of your credit report from that they relied on. To properly dispute credit report errors, make sure to save this denial letter as it can be useful down the road to show the damages you suffered from the inaccurate credit reporting. The letter should have instructions on how you can obtain a copy of the credit report.

Review the report for any credit errors. If all the accounts are accurate then there is nothing to do. If you recognize accounts or items that do not belong to your or are inaccurate then you need to get written proof of the credit bureau’s mistake. This will help when you dispute credit report errors. There are many types of documents you can get to show the error but usually a copy of an old bill, a canceled check showing payment, a response from the furnisher on a dispute you filed or something similar can be used for supporting documentation. When you write the dispute letter to the credit bureau you need to identify the error and tell the bureaus what is wrong with it. Attach and reference the proof of the error in your dispute letter to the bureaus. If there some other document that the bureaus need to review, or someone the bureaus should talk to then put that in your letter. It is important to save copies of this dispute letter and mail it via tracking to the credit bureaus. That way you have proof they received it. You can also send a courtesy copy to the furnisher if you want. In 30 days the credit bureaus have to respond under FCRA so make sure you save a copy of all the response letters.

How to Write Dispute Letter to the Bureaus

Do not waste your time with harmless inaccuracies on your credit report. This could be something from a wrong birth date, middle initial is wrong or an old job listed that you never worked for. These items almost never hurt your credit and are not a factor in a credit decision. To dispute credit report errors you just need to identify either the accounts that are preventing you from obtaining financing or an account that is a mistake (ie collections) that needs to be fixed or removed. The dispute letter to the credit bureau should not be boilerplate, as most the credit repair agency letters are. It needs to be narrowly tailored to you and your specific circumstances. Ideally the letter should be kept to one or two pages and should be concise. A bad credit dispute is “I do not owe this” but a good one would read “I do not owe this collection account because it was previously paid prior to going to collections. See the attach proof of payment and bill from the creditor.” That way it puts the credit bureaus and furnisher or notice for what the dispute is and provides the attached proof.

It can be tricky to get the proof of the credit report error since records get tossed out or are not kept. Do not worry there are still some tricks you can use to get these documents and dispute credit report errors. First you can ask the bank or credit furnisher if they have the documents. If not (and it is not in your records) you can file a complaint with either your state attorney general or the appropriate gov regulatory body. The dispute will highlight what the issue is and what documents you need. The companies will almost always respond to these disputes and get you the paperwork you need.From this you can use that as your written proof of the error. Sometimes going through old bank statements will show that the item was timely paid and that can be used. The important thing is there is not a standard piece of evidence to dispute credit report errors, so you can be creative as you want to tell your story. If you need help getting any of these records or have questions then feel free to give Cook Law a call and they may be able to help you track down the information. Persistence is key.

Credit Repair Companies

You do not need to hire a credit repair agency. They are non-attorneys who are not competent in the law and understanding FCRA. The write boilerplate dispute letters that have little to no effect. Often these letters will mess up any potential case you may have. Further, they keep taking your money every month and are a general waste of time and energy. Credit repair companies can tell you whatever you want to hear to dispute credit report errors just to get you money. They promise you results they can not deliver. They are not regulated companies, require no license and has no entry to start a credit repair company. Many lawyers argue they are engaged in the unauthozied practice of law. That is why it is important to either write the dispute letters yourself or to talk to a qualified attorney who knows how to properly dispute credit report errors.

Cook Law does not charge for their initial consultation and often times can help you either write letters at no charge or review your case for free. To my knowledge, there are no pro bono credit repair agencies or a company that will do that for you. After the dispute letter (and it is probably advisable to send about 2 to 3 of them) you will be surprised that the letters did not work? So what is the next step….

When is it Time to File a Lawsuit

What do you do once you have sent two or three rounds to the credit bureaus and they responded to you that the negative item is staying on your credit report? It is time to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. This is the next step to the dispute letters. At this point, the credit bureaus are not going to delete or fix the negative item on your credit report. No amount of dispute letters will fix this. Cook Law is a law firm that has experience in FCRA and suing the credit bureaus and furnishers. If you have to file a lawsuit a lawyer will help you directly through the dispute credit report errors process and litigation. Often times a lawyer will take your case contingent which means there may be no direct out of pocket expenses to you. It is just an investment of your time and energy to get the matter fixed.

The advantage of the lawsuit is that it will help get the matter fixed for you and to ideally get you clean credit. If the case is serious enough (ie you were a victim of identity theft) you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the credit bureaus. A credit repair agency is not only unable to file a lawsuit on your behalf but they can not recover money for you. This is why it is advantageous to hire a law firm to represent you in disputing your credit report inaccuracies. If you have any questions you can contact Cook Law for a free consultation. They can answer any specific questions you have and help guide you through this entire process. 

Dealing with Unresolved Credit Report Errors

If you have discovered errors on your credit report that have not been resolved after going through the dispute process, there are still steps you can take to address the issue. Here are some tips for dealing with unresolved credit report errors:

Contact the Furnisher

If you believe that the inaccurate information on your credit report is coming from a specific company, known as a “furnisher,” you can reach out to them directly to try and resolve the issue. Furnishers can include creditors, lenders, and other businesses that provide information to the major credit bureaus.

Contact the Major Credit Bureaus

If you haven’t already, contact the major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian – to report the unresolved error. You can do this by mail or online, and should provide as much detail as possible about the error and the steps you have taken to try and resolve it.

Request More Information

When disputing an error on your credit report, you may not have received enough information to fully understand the issue. Contact the reporting company and ask for more information about the error, including any documentation they may have on file. This can help you better understand the situation and take steps to resolve it.

Review Your Credit Reports

Make sure to regularly review your credit reports to ensure that any errors are caught early on. You can request free credit reports from each of the major credit bureaus once a year, or use a credit monitoring service to keep an eye on your reports throughout the year.

Consider Contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If you have gone through the dispute process and are still not satisfied with the outcome, you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for assistance. The CFPB can help you understand your rights and provide guidance on next steps to take.

Stay Organized

Throughout the process of dealing with unresolved credit report errors, it is important to keep all documentation and correspondence organized. This includes copies of your credit reports, any letters or emails you have sent, and any responses you have received. Having everything in one place can help you keep track of the status of the error and ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to resolve it.