After writing your original dispute letter to a credit bureau, the agency has 30 to 45 days to send you a response. If the creditor could not provide debt validation of your disputed item, congratulations! The credit bureau is legally obligated to remove the item from your credit report. However, if the creditor disagrees with your dispute, the credit bureau will respond accordingly (i.e., will not remove the item). Either way, the credit bureau will let you know. If it’s the latter, this is by no means the end. In fact, it could be just the beginning.
There are 11 reasons why an item on your credit report can be removed. For your purposes, this represents 11 letters of dispute you could potentially send in hopes that one of them sticks. Note, this does not mean you bombard credit bureaus with one dispute after another about the same item. If your original dispute is validated, wait 60 days before disputing the same item again, even if it does (which it should) include a different reason for the dispute.
As explained in Step 2 of this blog series, your first dispute should be “It’s not mine.” The order of dispute letters is as follows :
- Not mine or not my account.
- I didn’t pay late that month.
- Wrong amount.
- Wrong account number.
- Wrong original creditor.
- Wrong charge-off date.
- Wrong date of last activity.
- Wrong balance.
- Wrong credit limit.
- Wrong status – there are about 20 of these.
- Wrong high credit – the highest amount you used.
As stated in previous steps, always send your letters via regular certified mail with return receipt, and keep copies of everything!
While this may seem a cumbersome process, it’s simplified greatly when approached with diligence and patience. Credit repair doesn’t happen overnight. And, of course, there is no guarantee that any one of your dispute letters will result in a deleted item. However, it is a necessary first step in the credit repair process. (Subsequent options will be covered in Step 4.)
In case you missed it, or want to review, here’s Step 2: Sending Dispute Letters To Credit Bureaus.