Once you have submitted your dispute letter online or through snail mail, the law mandates that the credit bureau must conduct an investigation and give you results within 30 days. During this time period, there is nothing much you can do except wait. Because of advancements in technology and communications, they can generally verify with the information provider (usually a lender or creditor) and get back to you in as early as 10 working days, hopefully with good news of your dispute resolved.
Now note that in that 30-day window, there are still things you can do to ensure that the offending item gets removed from your credit report. Should you find other documents that will support your claim that you did not include in your letter, send copies of that as well. If you are disputing personal information, you can send copies (never the originals) of your driver’s license, social security card, or latest billing statement to the credit bureau. For late payments, you can send (again, copies) canceled checks indicating that the bill was paid on time, receipts, or billing statements that show your balance.
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If you have copies of your credit report from the other credit bureaus and these reflect proof that the item in question has already been changed in their records, you can send a copy of that as proof as well. When you give additional proof to the credit bureau, they are given an extra 15 days to verify your claim. Thus, you can expect them to get back to you in 45 days instead of a month.
But what if the credit bureau stands by its report? Well, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to add a 100-word consumer statement to your credit file which will then be included in your future credit reports. While future creditors may or may not believe this, it does air your side of the story. But this does not change anything in your credit report. If you honestly believe that the disputed item is inaccurate, read on.
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