How to Use Credit Dispute Letter Templates Effectively

Having errors on your credit report can cost you; both in higher interest rates and missed opportunities. However, with the right tools at your disposal, rectifying these mistakes becomes easier. Dive in as we show you how to use a credit dispute letter to help you clear those discrepancies efficiently.

woman writing a letter

What is a credit dispute letter?

If you find inaccuracies or questionable items on your personal credit report, you have the right to challenge them. To do this, you can send a credit dispute letter to any of the three major credit bureaus.

When credit reporting agencies receive a dispute, they are obligated by federal law to investigate the item. They must verify the information within 30 to 45 days, correct it, or remove it from your credit report. While credit dispute letters are commonly directed at the credit bureaus, you can also send them to the original creditor to address concerns.

Credit Dispute Letter Template & Step-by-Step Guide

If written correctly, a credit dispute letter can be highly effective in removing negative items from your credit reports and fixing bad credit. Whether you take on a DIY approach or hire a professional, you can see positive results if you correctly execute the process.

To help, we have provided a credit dispute letter template below that you can model your letter after. We’ve developed a step-by-step guide to show you how to write a credit dispute letter. We’ll also show you what you can do to optimize your chances for success.

Perhaps you’ve been a victim of identity theft, or your credit cards were stolen. Or maybe you just notice mistakes made by your creditors. Either way, it is your legal right to dispute errors on your credit reports.

You have the right to ensure that what’s being said about you on your personal credit report is fair and accurate. It’s important to go about it in the right manner so that you don’t lose the opportunity to improve your credit scores using this method.

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What items can I dispute on my credit report?

Anything that a credit bureau is reporting on your credit report can be disputed. This includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

You get a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus every 12 months. Once you’ve got your credit reports in hand, carefully review them. Look for any negative accounts that may be inaccurate or questionable.

Be very careful that you don’t dispute positive items. Once an item is removed, it’s just about impossible to get them back on your credit report.

If you are unsure whether an item is negative or positive, you are not quite ready to send disputes yet. Make sure you thoroughly understand what’s being reported on your credit history before starting the dispute process.

Sending Credit Dispute Letters to Credit Bureaus

It’s not necessary to provide evidence when making a dispute as the burden of proof is on the credit bureau. However, if you have any supporting documentation that you believe will help your case, you can send it with the credit report dispute letter.

It could be a letter from a debt collector for a bill you already paid. It could also be proof that you paid off any owed amounts or a letter from the creditor noting that you agreed to a settlement. When providing copies of this information, just be sure to black out sensitive information like your Social Security number before sending it over.

Once you have everything pulled together, you’re ready to send a credit report dispute letter. If you go in prepared, you’ll have the best chance of success, so take a few minutes and pull your paperwork together. In your letter, identify the error on your credit report and note that you have circled the disputed item in an attached copy for their reference.

It’s important to explicitly ask that the disputed item be removed. Remember, the letter should be as customized as possible to achieve optimal results.

How to Write a Credit Dispute Letter

When writing your credit report dispute letter to a credit bureau, please remember these simple guidelines:

  • In most cases, it’s unnecessary to mention laws, procedures, court rulings, or threaten lawsuits, etc. The credit reporting agencies know the law.
  • Similarly, remember to be kind. Combative language doesn’t help and could hurt. You’re not going to scare them into doing anything.
  • Include copies of information that supports your claims, but remember, anything you send a credit bureau can also be used against you. Do not send original documents. Please be cautious with this one. If you’re not sure, don’t send it.
  • Make and send copies of the dispute letter, but always keep the originals for your records.
  • Make it clear which item or items you want to dispute on your credit report. It’s not always necessary to tell a credit bureau why you are disputing. The burden of proof is on them.
  • A credit bureau is not obligated to investigate requests that appear frivolous. Make sure your letter is understandable and concise. It’s a good idea to proofread the letter before you send it.

Note: Always include a photocopy of your driver’s license, state-issued ID, or U.S. passport and a copy of your Social Security card, pay stub, W-2, or a recent utility bill. Only 2 forms of ID are required.

Sample Credit Report Dispute Letters

Here are two sample letters for disputing a credit card account with a credit reporting agency. These templates are suitable for submitting credit disputes to Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Please remember that they are just examples. They’re intended to give you an idea of what a credit report dispute letter should look like and what it should contain.

Tailor your message to your specific circumstances. Keep it short and sweet. It’s always best to write the credit report dispute letter in your own words and know what you are doing. If you don’t know what you are doing, it is possible to worsen your credit situation.

Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter 1


{City}, {State} {Zip code}
Social Security number: {XXX-XX-XXXX}
Date of birth: {XX/XX/19XX}

{Credit Reporting Agency Name}
{Agency Address}
{City, State, Zip Code}


Dear {credit reporting agency},

Please provide evidence that the following account belongs on my credit report and that my rights have not been abrogated. In the event that no record exists, please delete this damaging account information.

{Credit Card Issuer}
{credit card account number}
{Report or confirmation number} (if available).


Sample Credit Report Dispute Letter 2


{City}, {State} {Zip code}
Social Security number: {XXX-XX-XXXX}
Date of birth: {XX/XX/19XX}

{Credit Reporting Agency Name}
{Agency Address}
{City, State, Zip Code}


Re: Dispute of Inaccurate Information on Credit Report

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to dispute certain information that appears on my credit report, which I believe to be inaccurate and request its immediate correction.

  1. Specific Disputed Item(s):
    • Creditor Name: {Creditor’s Name} Account Number: {Account Number} Reported Balance/Status: {$XXX/Status (e.g., “Past Due,” “Charged-off”)
  2. Reason for Dispute: {State the specific reason why you believe the information is inaccurate. E.g., “This account was paid in full on {Date},” or “I have never had an account with this creditor.”} {Repeat the above format for each disputed item if there are multiple.}
  3. Supporting Documents: To assist in the swift resolution of this matter, I have enclosed the following documents:
    • {List any supporting documents you are attaching, e.g., “Proof of payment,” “Account closure confirmation,” “Identity theft report,” etc.}

I request that you conduct a thorough investigation into these matters and correct the disputed items on my credit report as soon as possible. In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), I expect a response within 30 days of receiving this letter. If the disputed information cannot be verified, it should be removed from my credit report. Once the investigation is complete, please send me a copy of my updated credit report.

If you find that the disputed information is accurate, please provide me with a detailed explanation and any supporting documentation.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Protecting and ensuring the accuracy of my credit report is of utmost importance to me, and I trust that you will handle this dispute with the seriousness it deserves.


{Your Name}

Equifax Dispute Address

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

Experian Dispute Address

2220 Ritchey St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705

TransUnion Dispute Address

P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

You should also send your letter via certified mail with “return receipt requested.” This serves as evidence that the credit bureau has received your letter and starts the 30-day clock for them to investigate the dispute.

Disputing Items on Your Credit Report Online

Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian all offer online dispute forms on their websites. However, we highly advise against disputing online because it’s not as effective.

Submitting your credit report dispute online limits your rights, gives you less control, and you’re doing exactly what the credit bureaus want you to do. You’re playing into their hands and giving them the easy way out when you dispute online.

credit dispute form

You may still have some success in removing negative items by disputing them online. However, it is NOT the best way. Why? The primary reason is that you may inadvertently waive some of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act when you choose to file a dispute online.

Disputing Items on Your Credit Report Over the Phone

You can do your disputes over the phone, but again, it’s not a wise decision. It’s almost as bad as disputing online because there is no paper trail to confirm your actions.

The best way to remove negative items from your credit reports is to write a letter. This is so you can keep careful records of all communications you send and receive.

What if it comes back as “verified”?

Unfortunately, it’s common for creditors to drag their feet when it comes to removing negative items. They do this especially if they’re trying to get you to pay off a debt you already settled in some way. Remember, they need to complete the entire investigation within 30 days of receiving your letter.

Sometimes credit bureaus don’t always cooperate as well. At this point, it’s time to contact the credit bureaus again to let them know they’ve made a mistake and are violating your rights. It may take several letters for them to remove the item.

However, if you’ve sent several letters, and the credit bureau still refuses to remove the item, you may need to enlist legal help. It might be costly, so reserve this for especially damaging items. You might also find success just by sending a letter on a lawyer’s letterhead.

You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you disagree with the outcome of a credit dispute.

Make Sure You Know What You’re Doing!

You must do this right, as getting a home loan, car loan, or even a new job can depend on how successfully you clean up your credit report.

We’ve heard of countless people who have made their credit even worse (in some cases much worse) because they didn’t know what they were doing.

If you’re not careful, you can unknowingly undermine your consumer rights and do irreversible damage to your credit by trying to save a few bucks doing it yourself.

Dealing with the credit reporting agencies and your creditors can be intimidating. The constant back and forth with them can be quite time-consuming and frustrating. They don’t always respond with the desired outcome, in which case, follow-up letters are needed.

Professional Credit Repair Companies Can Help

As you can probably tell from the detailed instructions above, disputing even a single negative item on your credit report can take a lot of work. First, you have to correspond back and forth with your creditor.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll have to reach out to each credit reporting agency separately. Since you need to do everything via certified mail to ensure you don’t waive any of your rights, doing things correctly still feels like the slow way.

One way to accelerate the process and save time is to hire a professional credit repair company. They understand credit laws and can handle the process on your behalf quickly and efficiently.

Working with a credit repair company also takes the emotions out of the process. You get to check in with your contact to find out the status without having to talk to aggressive or irate creditors.

Get a Free Consultation

If you want to make sure it gets done right, let the professionals at Credit Saint take care of it for you.

Credit Saint has a proven track record of effectively removing incorrect entries for countless clients.

Plus, they know how to deal with the credit bureaus when they don’t respond favorably. Visit their website for a free credit consultation and a free credit score.

Ready to Repair Your Credit?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and why is it important?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It protects consumers by ensuring that credit bureaus provide accurate information and allows for disputing and correcting any inaccuracies.

What if the same error appears on multiple credit reports?

If the same error appears on multiple credit reports, you need to send separate dispute letters to each credit bureau reporting the error.

What if the original creditor verifies the debt but I still believe it’s inaccurate?

If the original creditor verifies the debt but you believe it’s still inaccurate, you can request a method of verification or consider getting legal help. You can also add a statement of dispute on your credit report.

What happens if I mistakenly dispute a valid item on my credit report?

If you mistakenly dispute a valid item, the credit bureau will investigate and likely confirm the item’s accuracy. Repeatedly disputing valid items can be seen as frivolous, and the bureau might ignore subsequent disputes.

Why shouldn’t I dispute inaccuracies online or over the phone?

Disputing inaccuracies online or over the phone might seem convenient, but it often limits your rights and doesn’t provide a paper trail, which can be crucial if disputes escalate or need legal intervention.

Can a credit dispute impact my credit score?

If a dispute results in changing or deleting inaccurate or negative information on your credit report, it can positively impact your credit score.

Are there any fees associated with sending a credit dispute letter?

Sending the letter itself is not associated with a fee from the credit bureaus. However, if you send it via certified mail with “return receipt requested,” you will have to pay for that postal service.