There are times when you may discover an inaccuracy on your credit report. Mistakes happen — but they could affect your credit score. Fortunately, the process for disputing an error with the credit bureaus is simple. And best of all, a successful dispute is one of the fastest ways to repair your credit.
There are three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The incorrect item may show on all three of your credit reports or only one. You’re about to learn how to file a dispute with TransUnion.
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What Information Can I Dispute on My Credit Reports?
You may dispute certain items on your credit report. It’s important to know what they are so you can read your credit report in search of the most significant mistakes. You may dispute any of the following items:
Review your names listed and home address history for errors. One of the signs of identity theft may be a home address on your credit report you don’t recognize or an incorrectly spelled name.
Examine the credit accounts listed on your credit report for accuracy. Make sure you recognize the credit cards and loans listed and whether they’re active or closed. Look for errors, such as the wrong credit limit or an incorrectly reported late payment — they have a negative effect on your credit score. Disputing them and getting the incorrect items removed off your credit history could help improve your credit.
Inquiries You Don’t Recognize
Inquiries for credit cards or loans you didn’t apply for may be related to identity theft. You’ll want to dispute the inquiry and consider creating a security freeze to prevent unauthorized credit checks.
Mixed Credit Files
There are occasions when someone else’s credit account is accidentally reported as yours. Disputing them will cause the lender to investigate and correct the error.
Duplicate Reporting of an Item
If a credit account has been reported twice on your report, it could affect your credit score by showing you have more debt than you actually do.
Items Too Old to Remain on Your Credit History
Items such as delinquencies and bankruptcies have a big effect on your credit score. Fortunately, even the worst credit incidents fall off your credit report after seven years. If you find any older than the limit, dispute them for deletion.
Filing a TransUnion Dispute Online
Disputing items on your credit report is easiest when you file the dispute online. You’ll save time by not having to mail items and can track and follow your dispute’s progress online. To file a TransUnion dispute online:
- Click on “New Investigation”;
- Select the item(s) you’d like to dispute;
- Upload documents supporting your claim;
- Look out for email updates from TransUnion;
- Wait for a decision.
Filing a TransUnion Dispute by Mail
If the dispute isn’t time-sensitive, you could file it by mail. You’ll need to write a letter explaining why you’re disputing the item and mail it to:
TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000.
Don’t forget to include the following information in the letter:
- Your name;
- Current address;
- Date of birth;
- Social Security number;
- Your TransUnion file number if you’ve created one;
- Account number found on the credit report of the item you’re disputing;
- Name of the company of the item you’re disputing;
- Reason you’re disputing information;
- Requested correction.
Supporting Materials Needed to File a Dispute
Whether you’re filing online or by mail, you’ll need to provide info to verify your identity and support your claim. Some items which could be helpful include:
- A copy of a credit card statement or utility bill confirming your home address;
- A copy of your government-issued photo ID such as driver’s license, military ID, or passport;
- Proof supporting why you believe the item is an error, such as a payment confirmation showing your credit card bill was paid on time and not late, canceled checks, a police report showing your identity was stolen, or a letter confirming the account was in forbearance or deferment.
Placing a Security Freeze on Your TransUnion Credit Report
If there are credit inquiries on your credit report, you could stop identity theft from getting worse by preventing individuals and companies from accessing your credit report. You’ll need to contact each of the three credit bureaus to place a security freeze on your credit file.
You could create a TransUnion or by calling 1-888-909-8872. You’ll need to provide some personal information to verify your identity:
- Full name;
- Home addresses you’ve lived at in the past two years;
- Date of birth;
- Social Security number.
You’ll receive a PIN number from TransUnion. Keep it in a safe place — you’ll need the PIN to freeze and unfreeze your account before you apply for credit.
What to Expect After Filing a TransUnion Dispute
TransUnion typically completes its dispute investigation within 30 days. You’ll receive an email or letter with the bureau’s decision. In the case of a dispute about a credit inquiry or account, TransUnion will reach out to the company that reported the item in question to your credit file. If the company or lender can verify the item as yours, it will remain on your credit report. If they’re unable to provide TransUnion with the proof the item was reported correctly, it will be removed or updated.
Be sure to get your TransUnion through Transunion to see if there are any unknown activity on your credit history that may require submitting a dispute.
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