How Long Does a Credit Dispute Take?

According to the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), if you file a credit dispute to rectify what you feel is an inaccuracy in your credit report, the investigation process should take thirty to forty-five days.

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However, most credit disputes are often resolved faster than that. 

The exact time required to resolve a credit dispute largely depends on the information in question and how quickly the lender or the other organization that furnished the credit bureau with your data can respond to requests to confirm the disputed information. Top credit repair companies can often expedite this process. 

How Does the Credit Dispute Process Work?

If you discover inaccuracies in your credit report, you can file a credit dispute by mail or online. When you dispute your credit information details via mail, provide proof of identity, including verification of address and a copy of your photo ID. Based on the type of credit dispute, you should also provide evidence of the inaccuracies, including a canceled check or a copy of a bank statement as evidence of on-time payments; it may even be possible to clear a repossession from your credit.

Further, it’s advisable to dispute information that misreports your credit history, including any payments that are inaccurately reported as late or missed or loans and other accounts that are still open when you’ve closed them. You must also notify the credit bureaus and the proper authorities if you see any listings for credit card accounts or loans you didn’t request or open; this might be a sign of identity theft or credit fraud. When assessing your credit report, note that one or more of your creditors might go by a different acronym or name on your credit report than what’s on your account statement. Cross-check to ensure the creditor listed isn’t one of your existing credit accounts.

How Long Does This Take?

If what you’re disputing isn’t a credit item but a typo in your Social Security number, an address, name misspelling, or other identifying details you can document yourself, your credit dispute will be resolved within a week. Suppose the information you’re disputing concerns your payment history and needs verification by a third party–in this case, the credit bureau must notify the information furnisher within five days of receiving your credit dispute. The information furnisher should respond fast enough to enable the bureau to meet the thirty-day investigation requirement.

If you submit additional backup documents to the credit bureau after submitting your dispute, the FCRA will extend the investigation-completion time limit by fifteen days, making the maximum turnaround time about six weeks. 

Because credit scores are calculated from your credit reports, removing inaccuracies from your report can affect your credit score. Conversely, removing missed or late payments could substantially boost your credit scores. So, in the long run, ensuring your credit report accurately reflects your credit activity, and usage is crucial. 

What Should You Do if You Disagree with the Outcome of a Credit Dispute?

If you disagree with the outcome of a credit dispute, you have many options, including:

  • Communicate with your lender or data furnisher directly to seek corrections of any inaccuracies in their records.

  • Re-file a credit dispute with the credit bureau, along with additional evidence documenting the discrepancy. Unfortunately, resubmitting the same evidence you supplied with the original credit dispute may not result in a different outcome.

  • Add a statement of dispute to your credit history. This statement appears in your credit history when creditors check your credit, showing that you disagree with an item in your credit report. 

Final Thoughts

All of this information can be enough to make someone's head spin, which is why a qualified credit repair specialist like those at The Phenix Group can help you get all sorts of inaccuracies or judgments removed from your credit report, without you having to so much as call a credit bureau. They’ll handle all the paperwork so you can go on living your life while knowing that your credit has been restored and you can once again enjoy financial freedom.

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