The Fair Credit Reporting Act was created to help consumers dealing with errors on their credit report.
When disputing something on your report, you will want to take action
in the best possible manner. Otherwise, with one mistake, you will be
forced deal with a host of problems.
With this in mind, here are six actionable tips on a writing credit dispute letter:
Provide Clear and Concise Copies
Without a doubt, when you send out a dispute letter, you will want to
offer any evidence in your favor. To do this, make a photocopy of the
information and highlight the part supporting your cause. For example,
if you have debt that shows it’s paid off, you need to provide this
information to the creditor. Otherwise, if you don’t provide this
information in the first communication, you will waste plenty of time
and resources stating your cause. At the same time, the creditor will
act quickly when you provide information to the contrary.
Send Everything via Certified Mail
Whether you are dealing with the credit bureau or a creditor, you will
want to send all the information via certified mail. While this costs
a little extra, it will help you fight back. All-too-often, a consumer
won’t provide this and he or she will end up losing the battle. At
the same time, if you email the creditor, remember to save the email.
Finally, when speaking on the phone, make sure to ask for their name and
document any important details about the call. Of course, in the end,
a certified letter is the best way to go if you want to resolve your case quickly.
Provide Every Detail and Give Them a Reason to Resolve Your Issue
While you will want to offer a copy of the information supporting your
cause, you can’t solely rely on this. The creditor or bureau will
want to hear out your case, in detail. To do this, you will want to include
in your letter, an explanation of why you dispute the item and why you
feel it’s wrong. When doing so, you will speed up the process and
provide a human touch. Remember, people reading your dispute letter will
take your more seriously when you provide every detail. Of course, leave
emotions out of it. Instead, offer a reason why they need to help you
resolve your issue.
Follow up in a Few Days
Now, whether you like it or not, the creditor will often ignore people
looking to dispute information. This probably does not surprise you. Even
though it’s not fair or legal, it happens all the time. In fact, this
occurs so frequently that you will need to protect yourself and follow
up on any case. To do this in the most efficient way possible, you can
simply call the creditor a few days after your initial correspondence.
If this doesn’t yield results, send a second certified letter. When
you do so in a wise and tactful manner, you will get results and hear
back from the creditor.
Include all Identification
In a rush to dispute an item and resolve the case, people often forget
to include pertinent details identifying themselves and their situation.
To avoid this, you will want to include your name, address and the last
four digits of your social security number. Otherwise, if you don’t
provide this, you will slow down the process since the creditor can’t
proceed without this pertinent information.
Ask Someone to Proofread it
Finally, even though it may be tempting, don’t rush to the post office
and send out your letter. Instead, sit down with a trusted friend, family
member or colleague who can read through the dispute letter. This person
doesn’t have to be a writer or a legal professional. However, with
a quick glance over, he or she can spot errors and offer any advice to
help you bolster your cause.
With these six actionable tips, not only will you speed up the process
to resolve your credit problems, but you will be also exercising your
rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.