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So, you’ve monitored your credit and suddenly something isn’t adding up. It may be a line of credit you never recall applying for, or that your bank reported a slew of late payments you know you made on time.Whatever it is, the next step is nearly always the same – filing a dispute with the credit bureau that reported the error online, either by mail or phone. [Transunion (800-916-8800), Equifax (800-685-111), or Experian (888-397-3742)].
But no matter how egregious the error, you shouldn’t assume the bureau will correct it just because you filed a dispute. Cases aren’t considered closed until the consumer is mailed a formal letter with the details of the investigation, says credit expert John Ulzheimer.
If you were rejected, you probably won’t have a good shot at having your case heard again. However, there’s one sure way to get their attention, which Ulzheimer outlines:
“If the consumer wants to ensure that a second or third dispute of the same item isn’t ignored then they’ll want to provide new context or supporting documentation. This triggers a requirement for the credit bureaus to investigate the item again. And, of course, the consumer can always bypass the credit bureaus and take their dispute directly to the furnishing party.”
The whole ordeal will usually take under a month, though filing additional disputes will no doubt drag the process along. If all else fails, comfort yourself with the thought that all bad behaviour is wiped clean from reports after seven years.