Keeping on top of your credit report and reporting errors is one of the most important things you can do to repair your credit. The first step is to obtain a free copy of your credit report. If you find any errors or find out that debt has been improperly listed, be aware that the only way to resolve the matter is to write a formal debt dispute letter to the creditor.
What is a debt dispute letter?
A debt dispute letter is a formal letter that you must send to creditors informing them of erroneous credit reporting. This is the only way to fix errors on your credit report and is required in many situations, including when you find yourself the victim of identity theft.
What does a debt dispute letter look like?
The following format should be followed when writing a debt dispute letter.
Your Name, Address, and City, State & Zip Code
Complaint Department, Reporting Agency Name, Address, and City, State & Zip Code
Dear Sir or Madam:
State that you are formally disputing a reported debt that appears on your credit report. List the information and tell them why it’s not correct, giving as much information as you can. If you’ve already paid the bill, list this. Tell them if the debt was never yours. Next, tell them that you would like the information about this debt fixed or removed from your credit report. Be sure to tell them that you’re enclosing documents to support your case.
Include any relevant information, including account statements, payment receipts, or court documents.
Enclosures: List all the documents you’re enclosing with the letter. Make sure you enclose a copy of your credit report with the incorrect information circled.
What will the debt dispute letter do?
The debt dispute letter will cause the company to investigate your claim. They’ll give all the information to the original creditor or organization, who will then investigate and attempt to prove the debt is correct. They’ll report back to the credit bureau with the information they find, and are required to tell the bureau if they’ve found the debt to be incorrect. After all this takes place you’ll receive a copy of the report in the mail, along with a free copy of your new credit report with updated information.
Make sure all the documents you send are copies, never originals. In addition, make a copy of your letter and the documents you’re sending and keep this on file. Send your package certified mail, return receipt requested. This will give you a guarantee that the company received your letter.
Debt dispute letters are very necessary and quite helpful when you find yourself with inaccurate information that’s negatively affecting your credit. You can’t afford to leave incorrect information on your report; this will be visible to all creditors when you apply for credit cards, as well as loans. Sending a debt dispute letter is very easy and will take less than 30 minutes to fully compose.