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If the Credit Bureau Does Not Respond
You’ve sent your original letter to the credit bureau disputing a mistake on your credit report, requesting removal or validation. If it has been more than 30 days since you confirmed receipt via certified mail, you may need to send a second letter to follow up. It could be a simple error on the bureau’s part, as they receive thousands of letters every month, and it may get lost before being entered into the e-Oscar system. This is a template you can use when you need to follow up. Remember, this is only a sample, and you will want to customize it your situation.
Sample Follow Up Letter for Credit Report Disputes, Changes, and Requests
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[Insert the bureau’s address]
Re: Dispute Letter of [date you sent previous request]
Dear Sir or Madam,
This letter is formal notice that you have failed to respond to my dispute letter of [date of previous request] within 30 days. I have enclosed a copy of the return receipt which you signed on [date of certified mail receipt]. I am maintaining detailed records of all my correspondence with you.
You may have misplaced my letters or have failed to respond to my letter because of an oversight due to the high volume of the requests you receive daily. If this is the case, I’m sure you will want to handle this matter as soon as possible. As such, I have included a copy of my original request, the dated receipt of your reception of the original letter, and a copy of the proof of the mistake placed on my records. [describe the documents enclosed as proof here].
As a reminder, I am disputing [describe mistake here].
Please remove this error from my credit report as soon as possible.
Enclosures: [List what you are enclosing.]
Downloadable Follow Up Letter Templates
Follow Up Sample Letter Template
The mailing addresses for each bureau are:
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
You can also contact the bureaus online or via phone.
When to Follow Up With the Credit Bureaus
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the bureaus have 30 days to resolve your dispute (There are some exceptions such as if you just received your free yearly credit report, which allow for 45 days, but 30 days is the most typical timeframe). You should wait it out, however, as a follow up before the time limit is up could be thrown out as spam. If they don’t respond, though, it’s a violation of the FCRA.
Keep in mind this is 30 days from the day they confirm receipt of your letter, which is why you should send it by certified mail. The timer does not start when you send the letter; it’s from when the bureau receives your original letter. The bureau has five business days from when they complete their investigation to inform you of the result.
In effect, thanks to the speed of mail and the investigation, it could take up to about 45 days total from when you send the original letter.
How to Follow Up With the Credit Bureaus
To reiterate, this is only a template. Change the wording to suit your needs and situation. Incorporate information from your original letter as needed. Include a copy of the original letter, as well, and any documents that prove the information on your report is an error. Remember that these should be copies of the documents, and not the originals. If you include a copy of your credit report, circle the item that you are disputing.
Above all, don’t forget that you are writing your letter to a human . Citing legal codes is not needed, as they know them well and use them every day. By the same token, making threats, such as contacting the FTC, will not endear your case to the person handling the dispute. Instead, stay neutral and don’t let your emotions write the letter.
Be sure to send a letter to each of the bureaus that fails to respond. If two respond, but one does not, you only need to send one follow-up letter.
Help Getting the Credit Bureaus to Respond and Adjust Your Credit Report
Keeping track of the timeline is extremely important, and messing up that crucial bit could do more harm than the good of trying to get the mistake fixed. If you do get a response, but it’s negative, you might need to send more letters to prove your argument’s merit. The process can be time consuming and exhausting. If you don’t feel like doing it yourself, or just want professional help to ensure the best possible outcome, consider hiring a professional credit repair company.
For more information on credit scores and what affects them, visit our Credit Score Learning Center. Need more writing tips or other letter templates? Visit our credit and collections letter template resource center.
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