Credit Dispute Letter Template

woman writing a letter

What is a credit dispute letter?

If you disagree with the information contained on your personal credit report, you can send a credit dispute letter to each of the three major credit bureaus. You can even dispute any items on your credit file that you deem “questionable.”

By disputing an item, the credit reporting agencies are obligated by law to investigate. They must either verify, correct, or delete the item from your record within 30 days. This type of letter is called a credit dispute letter. You can also send credit dispute letters directly to your creditor.

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 bureaus 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 Letter

Below is a sample credit dispute letter to a credit card company disputing a credit card account. You can use it for an Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion dispute. Please remember that it’s just an example. It’s 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


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

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


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).


Note: The above letter works for all three credit bureaus. Replace the credit bureau’s name & address based on the information listed below.

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.

Can I dispute my credit reports online?

Yes, 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

Yes, you can 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.

Can I dispute my credit report over the phone?

Yes, 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 bureaus 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 then have to reach out to each credit bureau 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 navigate the process on your behalf in an agile and efficient manner.

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.

Call Lexington Law for a Free Consultation

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

Lexington Law has helped hundreds of thousands of clients, and their team of lawyers and paralegals have many years of experience.

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?

Some clients have raised their credit scores
by 100 points* or more.

[*] Results are not typical or guaranteed.