Has a recently rejected loan application prompted you to look at your TransUnion report? Or maybe you were casually browsingYour free credit reportand noticed problems. Either way, sooner or later you'll want to clean up your credit, and the best way to do that is by filing a dispute with the credit reporting agency.
According to theFederal Trade Commission, "No one can legally remove accurate and timely negative information from a credit report." But if what you see is either questionable, inaccurate, or delayed, filing formal disputes with TransUnion can definitely work in your favor.
How to get ahead:
What does your TransUnion credit report say?
The main categories of your TransUnion credit report are:
- Personal Information:This section contains your social security number, date of birth, name and address. Information about your employer is also listed here. This information about your credit report does not affect your credit score. It will be updated as you provide new information to lenders and creditors.
- Account information:This section contains information about accounts you have with both lenders and creditors. This states the amount of the loan or credit limit and the current outstanding balance. You can also see the current account balance, the date the credit or credit card was opened and the previous payment history.
- Credit inquiries:This section includes both involuntary and voluntary requests. However, only the latter will affect your credit score, as these are loan applications and not credit checks for prequalification purposes.
- Public Records and Collection Accounts:This section contains allfiscal links, Complain,bankruptcies,foreclosureor garnishments of wages as reported by state and district courts. Defaulting receivables that have already been sold to collection agencies are also reported here.
When reviewing your TransUnion credit report, carefully review the information in each of these categories to confirm that it is accurate. And if you find errors, mark or circle them so you know which points to dispute.
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Mistakes to look out for on your TransUnion credit report
According to a study by the FTC, one in five credit reports contains errors. So there is a good chance that your credit report contains incorrect information. A few issues to watch out for that could drag your balance down:
- Accounts you don't recognize (This is often the result of identity theft)
- Incorrect account names and numbers
- Incorrect loan or credit limits
- Problems with payment history
- Unauthorized Credit Requests
- Negative accounts that have reached the 7-year credit report mark and should no longer be there
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a law that regulates credit reporting agencies. It grants you the right to contest incomplete or inaccurate information on your credit reports. If you discover errors or inaccuracies in your TransUnion credit report, you have three options to dispute it: by mail, online, or by phone.
While it's possible to fix the issues using one of these methods, we recommend filing a dispute via email. Why so? If you submit online or by phone, you have no paper trail and canlose some of the protectiongranted to you.
The FTC also recommends "contacting both the credit reporting agencies and the information provider" to best exercise your rights as a consumer. So, once you have filed formal disputes using any of the methods mentioned below, you should also contact the creditor immediately.
How to dispute your TransUnion credit report
Dispute TransUnion per Mail
To file a dispute by mail, you need to compose a letter like the one foundHere. According to TransUnion, your letter should include:
- The file identification number listed on your credit report
- Your current address
- Your date of birth
- your social security number
- The name of the company that submitted the information to TransUnion
- The account number of the item in question
- The reason you are filing a dispute
- Updates to be made to your personal information
TransUnion Dispute Address
consumer arbitration board
mailbox box 2000
Chester, Pennsylvania 19016
Before submitting the letter and supporting documents, make copies and keep the originals for your records. Also, make sure to send your package by registered mail with return authorization requested so you know it has reached its destination.
TransUnion Online Dispute
To file a dispute online, you must do thiscreate an account. Enter personal information including your full name, address, date of birth, social security number, and email address to get started. (If you already have an account, you can skip this step and sign in directly.)
After completing the registration process and logging in, you can file an appeal by following the steps below:
- Select the New Study tab. Enter your last name, social security number, and zip code, then click Submit.
- Review the information that appears in your TransUnion report. Locate the account with inaccuracies and select the button that says “Request for investigation”. You can also update your personal information directly from this page.
- When you've selected all the accounts with problems, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Next.
- On the Investigation Summary page, upload any supporting documentation to support your claim.
- Select Submit to complete your request.
TransUnion Dispute by Telephone
To dispute by phone, call 800-916-8800. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)
However, before you call, you'll want to have a copy of your credit report handy as the customer service representative will need the file identification number.
It's also a good idea to have supporting documentation handy as you will need to send it in as directed by the customer service representative.
What to expect after your dispute is filed
Once your dispute is received, TransUnion must complete its investigation and provide a response as to the outcome within 30 days. During this time, they will transmit your information to the party that provided the information (i.e. lender or creditor) and await a response to confirm or deny your claim.
In most cases, you can track the status of your dispute directly on TransUnion's website.
If the result is successful, your TransUnion report will be updated to reflect the correct information. TransUnion will also send you an updated copy for your records.
If the result is unsuccessful, the information remains on your credit report. At this point, you may need to provide supporting documents to the creditor or open another dispute and attach this information to substantiate your claim.
If the lender or creditor does not bother to respond to the dispute, the Schufa must remove the negative entry from your Schufa report.
To improve your chances of contacting a creditor, send a detailed letter explaining exactly what is wrong with the information on the account. You can even include a copy of your credit report so they can see exactly what you're referring to.
Don't forget to request a return receipt so you can prove that the creditor received your information. If necessary, call if you do not receive an answer within two weeks.
You may also want to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Bureau if the creditor or credit bureau does not cooperate.
Does a credit report dispute affect your credit score?
No, your credit score will not be penalized for filing a dispute with TransUnion. So don't be afraid to stand up for your rights. Here's what happens when you manage to remove negative items: You'll notice a jump in your credit score within 30 to 45 days of closing the dispute. Don't forget to check your credit report after this time frame to make sure everything looks correct.
Theoretically, if new negative information is added to your credit report as a result of the dispute, your credit score could drop. To avoid this, make sure you have your most recent credit report before you begin.
One thing to keep in mind during the dispute process is the XB code. This will be assigned to each disputed account and will suspend its impact on your credit score until the issue is resolved. So if you have a credit monitoring service and you see your credit score going up, it doesn't necessarily mean your dispute is closed. It could simply be that the account is not currently counting toward your credit score.
It's important to keep track of your credit scores to ensure they are clear and error-free. And if at any time you discover any inaccuracies, you should file a complaint immediately so that your credit report and credit score accurately reflect your credit history.
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Get to know the author
Allison Martin is a Syndicated Financial Writer, Author and Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI). She has been writing about personal finance for nearly a decade and holds a master's degree in accounting from the University of South Florida.
You submit an investigation request (dispute).
If you believe that an item contained in your TransUnion credit report is inaccurate or needs updating, send TransUnion a request for investigation or request to change information. You can start your investigation online. You can also submit a dispute by phone or mail.
- Include a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Report with your letter.
- If you are requesting deletion of an inquiry from your TransUnion credit report, send your letter to the address below: TransUnion. P.O. Box 2000. Chester, PA 19016.
How long does a dispute take with TransUnion? TransUnion usually finishes an investigation and provides you the results about 30 days from the receipt of your dispute. But the company recommends preparing to wait for up to 45 days. TransUnion does not note your credit file when an investigation is in process.How do I dispute my credit with all three bureaus? ›
Step 1: Get a copy of your credit report and review your credit report for errors. Step 2: Write a dispute letter or fill out an online form for each error you uncover. Step 3: Collect documents that support your dispute claims.How do I get something removed from my credit report? ›
- Get a free copy of your credit report. ...
- File a dispute with the credit reporting agency. ...
- File a dispute directly with the creditor. ...
- Review the claim results. ...
- Hire a credit repair service.
Filing a dispute has no impact on credit scores. But if certain information on your credit report changes as a result of your dispute, your credit score can change.Does removing inquiries increase credit score? ›
Hard inquiries will depress your credit score for the first six to 12 months. If you have them removed before then, you may see a quick boost in your credit score. You may boost your creditworthiness. Too many inquiries in a short period of time can make you seem like more of a risk to lenders.How long do hard inquiries stay on TransUnion? ›
Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for up to two years. Having too many inquiries in a short time period can negatively impact your credit score and may be a reason you get denied credit.Can you legally remove inquiries from your credit report? ›
If you find an unauthorized or inaccurate hard inquiry, you can file a dispute letter and request that the bureau remove it from your report. The consumer credit bureaus must investigate dispute requests unless they determine your dispute is frivolous.What happens if a dispute is denied? ›
Disputing a charge does not have an impact on your credit. You don't need to worry about a dispute causing your credit score to drop. What happens if a dispute is denied? If your dispute is denied, then the charge will go back on your credit card.
You can't remove collections from your credit report unless the account doesn't belong to you or the account is the result of fraud. If you see a collection account on your report you don't recognize, you can contact the collection agency using the phone number listed on your credit report.Does TransUnion make mistakes? ›
If your TransUnion credit report contains errors you have the right to file a dispute. TransUnion will have 30 days to investigate your dispute and correct any errors. Unfortunately, credit reporting agencies do not always fix their mistakes.What is the fastest way to dispute credit report? ›
You can send the credit reporting company a letter stating you don't agree with the outcome. The credit reporting company has to clearly note that the information has been disputed and provide your explanation on any future reports. You can also submit a complaint with the Bureau at consumerfinance.gov/complaint.What qualifies for a credit dispute? ›
A credit card dispute is when a consumer requests that their credit card company remove an incorrect or fraudulent charge from their bill. That might happen if you bought an item online but never got it in the mail, or if a charge appeared on your account that you never made.What is the easiest way to dispute a credit report? ›
You can dispute credit report errors by gathering documentation about the error and sending a letter to the credit bureau that created the report. All three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, have an online dispute process, which is often the fastest way to fix a problem.How do I request a pay for delete? ›
When submitting a pay for delete letter, clearly state your offer to repay all or part of the debt in exchange for the collection agency removing the account from your credit report. The collection agency can then decide whether to remove the account as requested.How can I get a collection removed without paying? ›
You can ask the creditor — either the original creditor or a debt collector — for what's called a “goodwill deletion.” Write the collector a letter explaining your circumstances and why you would like the debt removed, such as if you're about to apply for a mortgage.What is the fastest way to remove collections from credit report? ›
You can write a letter asking the creditor or collector to remove this information as a goodwill deletion. Your goodwill letter doesn't need to have a lot of information or details. Simply identify the debt, and point out that it has been paid and that you'd like them to remove it.Why did my credit score drop when I filed a dispute? ›
Why Did My Credit Score Drop After Filing a Dispute? Your credit score may have dropped after you filed a dispute if information in that dispute had a negative impact on your score. You are not penalized for filing the dispute itself.How long does it take for your credit score to go up after a dispute? ›
It can take up to 30 days for a disputed item to be removed from your credit report, assuming your dispute is valid. This is the maximum amount of time for a response from the credit bureau allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
If you find an error on your credit report, you can contact the credit bureaus to dispute that inaccurate information. In most cases, the credit bureau has 30 days from the date of filing to investigate your claim, though an investigation can take up to 45 days in some circumstances.How accurate is credit karma? ›
Here's the short answer: The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, two of the three major consumer credit bureaus. The credit scores and reports you see on Credit Karma should accurately reflect your credit information as reported by those bureaus.How many points is a hard inquiry? ›
How Does a Hard Inquiry Affect Credit? While a hard inquiry does impact your credit scores, it typically only causes them to drop by about five points, according to credit-scoring company FICO®.How do I get rid of inquiries in 24 hours? ›
To get an inquiry removed within 24 hours, you need to physically call the companies that placed the inquiries on the telephone and demand their removal. This is all done over the phone, swiftly and without ever creating a letter or buying a stamp.What's better Equifax or TransUnion? ›
Neither score is more or less accurate than the other; they're only being calculated from slightly differing sources. Your Equifax credit score is more likely to appear lower than your TransUnion one because of the reporting differences, but a “fair” score from TransUnion is typically “fair” across the board.How many points does your credit go up when a hard inquiry is removed? ›
Your credit score does not go up when a hard inquiry drops off your credit report. Your score will not go down when a hard inquiry drops off, either. Instead, a hard inquiry (or hard credit pull) stops having an impact on your credit score after one year, which is one year before it drops off your credit report.How many credit pulls is too many? ›
There's no such thing as “too many” hard credit inquiries, but multiple applications for new credit accounts within a short time frame could point to a risky borrower. Rate shopping for a particular loan, however, may be treated as a single inquiry and have minimal impact on your creditworthiness.What Cannot be removed from your credit report? ›
Unfortunately, negative information that is accurate cannot be removed and will generally remain on your credit reports for around seven years. Lenders use your credit reports to scrutinize your past debt payment behavior and make informed decisions about whether to extend you credit and under what terms.What letter removes hard inquiries from credit report? ›
A 604 dispute letter asks credit bureaus to remove errors from your report that fall under section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). While it might take some time, it's a viable option to protect your credit and improve your score.Is it hard to get hard inquiries removed? ›
Disputing hard inquiries on your credit report involves working with the credit reporting agencies and possibly the creditor that made the inquiry. Hard inquiries can't be removed, however, unless they're the result of identity theft. Otherwise, they'll have to fall off naturally, which happens after two years.
We can divide all valid disputes into one of five basic categories: criminal fraud, authorization errors, processing errors, fulfillment errors, or merchant abuse.Can you get in trouble for filing dispute? ›
Can you Get in Trouble for Disputing a Charge? Yes. Cardholders can face consequences for abusing the chargeback process.How do I remove a collection from my credit report once paid? ›
A goodwill deletion is the only way to remove a legitimate paid collection from a credit report. This strategy involves you writing a letter to your lender. In the letter, you need to explain your circumstances and why you would like the record of the paid collection to be removed from your credit report.Is it true that after 7 years your credit is clear? ›
Highlights: Most negative information generally stays on credit reports for 7 years. Bankruptcy stays on your Equifax credit report for 7 to 10 years, depending on the bankruptcy type. Closed accounts paid as agreed stay on your Equifax credit report for up to 10 years.Why did removing a collection lower my credit score? ›
Ideally, your debts should be a mix of installment debts like loans and revolving debts like credit cards. If eliminating a particular debt makes your credit report less diverse, it can negatively affect your score.Is TransUnion your actual credit score? ›
TransUnion will provide you with your VantageScore 3.0 credit score when you sign up for its credit monitoring service. VantageScore was created in partnership among all three credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Your TransUnion VantageScore is, in fact, accurate — based on the VantageScore model.What is a poor credit score with TransUnion? ›
A very poor credit score is in the range of 300 – 600, with 601 – 660 considered to be poor. A score of 661 – 720 is fair. And an excellent score is in the range of 781 – 850.Is TransUnion more accurate than Experian? ›
Of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) neither one is considered better than the other. A lender may rely on a report from one bureau or all three bureaus to make its decisions about approving your loan.Is it better to dispute online or by mail? ›
Reminder: When they don't fix the error, you have the proof you need to forced them to fix it and pay you damages IF you send your dispute certified mail. If you dispute it online, you make it difficult to enforce the law and it slows you down.How long does it take for a dispute to be removed from your credit report credit karma? ›
Generally speaking, the entire process takes about a month from the date you submit the dispute. According to the FTC, the three major credit bureaus must investigate the disputed items “unless they consider your dispute frivolous” and the investigation is “usually within 30 days” after you dispute an item.
To dispute a credit card charge, you may need to provide copies of receipts and any other supporting documents you have. If the bank agrees with your dispute, it will issue a reversal of the transaction.Can a dispute be denied? ›
But some disputes end with the bureaus saying the information is correct and declining to remove it. The good news is that filing a dispute doesn't have to be your last shot at improving your credit. If a bureau rejects your dispute, consider these next steps.Do credit disputes hurt your score? ›
No. The act of disputing items on your credit report does not hurt your score. However, the outcome of the dispute could cause your score to adjust. If the “negative” item is verified to be correct, for example, your score might take a dip.Is it worth it to dispute credit report? ›
Disputing credit report inaccuracies doesn't affect your credit, but some changes made in response to disputes can help your credit scores. The removal of inaccurate late payments, new-credit inquiries or bankruptcies could result in credit score increases.How do I dispute all 3 credit bureaus? ›
Step 1: Get a copy of your credit report and review your credit report for errors. Step 2: Write a dispute letter or fill out an online form for each error you uncover. Step 3: Collect documents that support your dispute claims.How do I get a dispute remarks removed from my credit report? ›
To remove disputes from a credit report (for free) you can contact whichever credit bureau is reporting the dispute. Experian's phone number is 888-210-9101 and 866-673-0140 and it's answered by a real-life human being. Just tell them you need the National Consumer Assistance Center to end the dispute(s).What should I put as reason for disputing credit? ›
- Payments reported late that were actually on time.
- Accounts that aren't yours.
- Inaccurate credit limit/loan amount or account balance.
- Inaccurate creditor.
- Inaccurate account status, for example, an account status reported as past due when the account is actually current.
If the item has been verified as accurate, then the credit bureaus are no longer investigating it. That means the credit bureaus will remove the “in dispute” label by removing the XB code. Once the XB code is gone, then the item is fair game in the eyes of FICO because it has been verified and is, arguably, accurate.How do I send a dispute letter to TransUnion? ›
You can send disputes by mail to TransUnion Consumer Solutions, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000. TransUnion recommends including the following in your dispute letter: Your Social Security number and date of birth.How do I delete a dispute on TransUnion? ›
If that happened, you can ask the company to send a letter directly to TransUnion at the address below, requesting the inquiry be deleted. Or, if you have information that the inquiry was made fraudulently, you can mail that information to us directly. Please note there isn't a way to do this online.
Why Did My Credit Score Drop After Filing a Dispute? Your credit score may have dropped after you filed a dispute if information in that dispute had a negative impact on your score. You are not penalized for filing the dispute itself.