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Top 6 Easy Ways On How To Dispute A Bad Credit Record

Joe Mahlow avatar

by Joe Mahlow •  Updated on Jan. 18, 2024

Top 6 Easy Ways On How To Dispute A Bad Credit Record
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Are you looking for ways to dispute a bad credit record? As you review your credit report, you notice some errors that are damaging your credit score. Inaccurate information on your credit report can hurt your credit score. Thus, making it hard to get approval for loans, credit cards, insurance, housing, and employment. The good news is that federal law gives you the right to dispute those errors

By law, credit bureaus must investigate the items you dispute. They should also make the necessary corrections to ensure the information is accurate. Follow these expert tips to dispute bad marks on your credit report. In no time, you can get your credit back on track.

How To Dispute A Bad Credit Record
Dispute a bad credit record


Table of Contents

Understand Your Credit Report

Why Do You Have Bad Credit?

Ways To Dispute A Bad Credit Record

Review Your Credit Report

Gather Supporting Documentation

Write a Credit Dispute Letter

Follow up

File a Formal Dispute

Contact Data Furnishers Directly

File a Complaint if Needed


Understand Your Credit Report

To dispute incorrect information on your credit report, you must first obtain a copy of your credit report. Then ensure to review for errors. You can request a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Consider credit repair services atlanta for any help when it comes to your credit score.

Review each report carefully to identify any incorrect information, like:

Accounts that do not belong to you

Accounts incorrectly listed as late or delinquent

Incorrect account status (such as "open" instead of "closed")

Incorrect account limits or balances

Duplicate accounts incorrectly listed multiple times

Once you have identified the incorrect items, you must file a formal dispute with the appropriate credit bureau(s) in writing, either by mail or online. In your dispute letter, identify each item you believe is reported in error. State the facts and provide any supporting documentation to back up your claim, such as account statements, letters, etc. Politely but firmly request that the item(s) in question be investigated and removed or corrected.

The credit bureau is required by law to investigate your dispute within 30 days. They will contact the creditors or data furnishers who reported the information to verify the accuracy of the item(s) in question. If the creditor cannot verify the information as accurate, the item(s) must be removed from your credit report. The credit bureau is also required to provide you with the results of their investigation in writing, as well as an updated copy of your credit report if any changes were made.

Staying on top of your credit report and scores is one of the best ways to maintain good financial health. By checking your credit reports regularly and disputing any incorrect information promptly, you can ensure your credit history is as accurate as possible. Over time, correcting errors on your credit reports can help improve your credit scores as well.

Why Do You Have Bad Credit?

Once you finally understand your credit report, it’s critical to know where the bad credit flag is coming from. From there, you can take the necessary steps to improve it. 

Here are some common reasons why people have bad credit:

  • Late or Missed Payments: One of the most common reasons for bad credit is late or missed payments on credit cards, loans, or other debts. Payment history is a crucial factor in determining your credit score, and consistently missing payments can have a negative impact.
  • High Credit Card Balances: Carrying high balances on your credit cards can also contribute to a bad credit record. This is because it indicates that you may be relying too heavily on credit and may have difficulty managing your debt.
  • Defaulting on Loans: Defaulting on a loan, such as a mortgage or car loan, can have a severe impact on your credit score. It shows that you were unable to fulfil your financial obligations, which makes lenders hesitant to extend credit to you in the future.
  • Bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy is a significant event that can stay on your credit report for several years. It indicates that you were unable to repay your debts which can make it challenging to obtain credit in the future.
  • Identity Theft: In some cases, a bad credit record may be the result of identity theft. If someone has fraudulently used your personal information to open accounts or make purchases, it can negatively impact your credit score.
  • Lack of Credit History: Having little or no credit history can also result in a bad credit record. Lenders rely on your credit history to assess your creditworthiness, and without a history of responsible credit use, they may be hesitant to extend credit to you.

It is important to note that these are just a few examples of why someone may have a bad credit record. Each individual's situation is unique, and it is crucial to review your credit report and identify the specific factors contributing to your bad credit. 

Ways To Dispute A Bad Credit Record

Once you understand why you have a bad credit record, you can take steps to improve it, such as making payments on time, reducing credit card balances, and addressing any errors or fraudulent activity on your credit report. Below are easy steps to follow if you want to effectively dispute a bad credit record.

Review Your Credit Report

Identify Incorrect or Outdated Information

The first step in disputing a bad credit record is to obtain a copy of your credit report. You can get one free credit report from each bureau every 12 months. Request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus-Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Carefully review your credit report for any errors or outdated information that may be negatively impacting your credit score. Make a list of all errors found in the reports.

Gather Supporting Documentation

If you find any errors or outdated information on your credit report, gather any evidence that supports your claim. This may include bank statements, receipts, or any other documentation that proves the information on your credit report is incorrect. Below are some evidence you might find useful:


To effectively dispute a bad credit record, you must obtain statements from creditors for any accounts you are disputing. Check statements for errors regarding account numbers, balances, limits or payment histories. Highlight the incorrect information on the statements.


Draft correspondence to send to credit bureaus and creditors. Explain specifically what information is inaccurate, and provide copies of statements as evidence. Politely request that the erroneous data be corrected.

Contact Information

Compile a list of names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and if available, email addresses for the three major credit bureaus as well as any creditors involved. Keep this information on hand for following up on your disputes.

Proof of Payments

For disputed accounts, gather evidence of any payments made such as cancelled checks, bank statements, money order receipts or wire transfer confirmations. Provide this evidence along with an explanation that the payments were not recorded properly.

Security Freezes

Consider placing a security freeze on your credit reports to lock access and prevent further fraud if your personal information has been compromised. Freezes must be placed with each credit bureau individually. Fees may apply depending on your state of residence.

Following the steps to gather solid supporting evidence and documentation will help strengthen your case when you dispute a bad credit record. Presenting clear and irrefutable proof of inaccurate information will require credit bureaus and creditors to conduct a reasonable investigation and make necessary corrections. Staying organized and persistent can help resolve disputes in your favor and improve your credit over time.

Write a Credit Dispute Letter

Once you have gathered your evidence, it is time to write a credit dispute letter. This letter should clearly state the information you are disputing and provide any evidence to support your claim. 

Here are the steps to draft an effective dispute letter:

1. Address the letter to the appropriate credit bureau(s)

Write a separate letter to each credit bureau that is reporting the incorrect information. Address the letter to the bureau's dispute department. You can find the correct address on the bureau's website.

2. Provide personal information for identification

Include your full name, current address, date of birth, and Social Security number. This will ensure the credit bureau properly identifies your dispute.

3. Dispute each error separately

List each disputed item separately and provide a brief explanation of why you believe it is incorrect or incomplete. Be specific about the account name, number, and any other pertinent details. State that you want the item verified or deleted.

4. Provide copies of supporting documents

Attach copies of any documents that support your claim, such as billing statements, receipts, or a police report. Clearly label each document with the account number it applies to.

5. Request an investigation and correction

Politely but firmly request that the credit bureau conduct a reasonable investigation into your dispute. Ask that they correct or remove any information they find to be inaccurate.

6. Request a credit score recalculation

Ask the credit bureau to recalculate your credit score to reflect the corrections and deletions made to your report. Your score may improve as a result of the changes.

7. Keep records of your correspondence

Make copies of your dispute letter and supporting documents for your records. Send your original letter via certified mail, return receipt requested. This provides evidence that your letter was received and the date it was delivered.

Following these steps will help ensure your dispute is processed promptly and appropriately. You can find templates for credit dispute letters online, but be sure to personalize it to your specific situation. You can check our sample dispute letter below:


Sample Letter To Effectively Dispute A Bad Credit Record

Date: Insert Date

Credit Bureau Name Address City, State, ZIP Code

Subject: Credit Dispute Letter

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to dispute the accuracy of the information on my credit report. After review, I have identified several errors that are negatively impacting my credit score. I have attached supporting documentation to prove that the information on my credit report is incorrect.

First, I would like to dispute the late payment record on my credit card account with the Credit Card Company. According to my records, I have always made my payments on time, and I have attached bank statements as evidence of my timely payments.

Then, I would like to dispute the outstanding balance on my student loan with Lending Institution. My records show that I have been making regular payments, and the balance reported on my credit report does not match the actual amount owed. I have attached copies of my payment receipts to support my claim.

Finally, I would like to dispute the bankruptcy record that’s on my credit report. I have never filed for bankruptcy, and this information is completely inaccurate. I have attached a letter from my attorney stating that I have never filed for bankruptcy.

I kindly request that you investigate these errors and make the necessary corrections to my credit report. As per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, I expect a prompt response within 30 days. If you find that the information on my credit report is indeed incorrect, I request that you remove it from my report.

Please send me a written confirmation once the investigation is complete and the necessary corrections have been made to my credit report. I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to a resolution.

Thank you for your prompt assistance.


Your Name 

Your Address City, State, ZIP Code 

Phone Number 

Email Address


Be prepared to provide any additional information requested to facilitate the investigation. You have the right to dispute any information on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate or unverifiable.

Follow up 

The credit bureau has 30-45 days to investigate your dispute and respond to your letter. If they find that the information on your credit report is incorrect, they must remove it from your report. 

Check your credit reports again in a month or so to confirm the disputed errors have been removed. If the errors still appear, you may need to submit another round of dispute letters. Be persistent and patient through the process. Be sure to follow up with the credit bureau to ensure that the incorrect information has been removed from your credit report.

File a Formal Dispute

If the credit bureaus do not resolve the errors, you may need to file a formal dispute. Provide a written letter again specifying each item you dispute, explaining why you believe it is inaccurate, and request an investigation. The bureaus must reinvestigate and record the dispute on your credit report. They must also notify the company that reported the disputed information.

Contact Data Furnishers Directly

You may also contact the companies that reported incorrect information directly. Explain that the information reported to the credit bureaus is inaccurate and request that they correct it. Get the name of the person you spoke with and keep records of all communication. If they do not correct the information, you may need to provide proof to force them to do so. Filing a police report for identity theft may also help in some situations.

File a Complaint if Needed

If the data furnisher does not resolve your dispute, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They help consumers deal with incorrect information on credit reports and violations of consumer protection laws. Filing a complaint is free and may prompt the company to properly investigate and resolve your dispute.

Disputing errors on your credit report can be frustrating, but by remaining diligent and following the proper steps, you can get incorrect information corrected and your credit score back on track. Staying on top of your credit and checking reports regularly is one of the best ways to catch and dispute mistakes early.


By following the steps outlined above, you now have the knowledge and tools to dispute a bad credit record. Staying on top of your credit and taking action when needed is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy score. 

While the process may seem tedious, the rewards of a clean credit report and the financial opportunities that come with it make the effort worthwhile. You have the power to demand accuracy and fairness. You can always dispute a bad credit record!

Do not get discouraged if the bureaus do not resolve issues promptly. Persist and stand up for your rights as a consumer. With time and determination, you can fix a wrong data and put the past behind you. Your financial future is worth fighting for, so start today!


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