Do Credit Bureaus Really Investigate Disputes?

Do Credit Bureaus Really Investigate Disputes? Learn how to challenge an element of your credit report and how long it takes for a dispute investigation.

Do Credit Bureaus Really Investigate Disputes?

Do credit bureaus really investigate disputes? This is a question that many people have when it comes to their credit reports. The answer is yes, credit bureaus do investigate disputes. When you dispute an item on your credit report, the credit bureau must review all the information and documents you provide and investigate your dispute within 30 days. The credit bureau then has five business days to notify you of the results.

To challenge an element of your credit report, you must prove to the credit bureau that the information is inaccurate. The credit bureau uses an automated system called e-OSCAR to quickly verify your information in different data repositories. FICO is the most commonly used credit rating and reference authority in credit reporting services. Knowing these factors in advance will give you time to make changes to your credit accounts, which could put you in a better position to qualify for new credit with the best rates and conditions.

If you discover any inaccuracies in all of your credit reports, you can contact each of the three major credit reporting companies individually to challenge the information. When filing a dispute with a credit agency, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires them to prove that the item is “in dispute”. Even if you believe some or all of the negative elements in your credit report may be true, you can still challenge them based on the fact that all data in your credit report must be backed up by verifiable information and data that proves the account is yours. When they see that your balances are paid, the credit agency will update their system and increase your credit rating.

The credit agency is then required to conduct a “reasonable investigation” into your dispute, which normally includes contacting the filing party and asking if your dispute has any validity. You are entitled to receive free copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once every 12 months. It emerged as the best solution for credit reporting agencies to respond to disputes within the required 30-day period. If you weren't able to delete or change the offending annotation, you can make it appear as “disputed” as long as it remains on your credit reports.

In the long run, it's always beneficial if your credit report accurately reflects your credit usage and activity. Keep in mind that data providers are creditors, debt collectors and other entities that report information about their credit activity to credit reporting agencies.