February 3rd, 2009

How to Dispute Items on Your Credit Report

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errorWhen you read your free annual credit report, you may stumble upon inaccuracies in the items that are listed. Your credit report is so important that is vital to get any inaccuracies corrected. The process of disputing information on the credit report is provided and protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The act requires the credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) to respond and work with you in an investigation into disputes. If it is found to be inaccurate, or the creditors are unable to prove their claim within thirty days, then the report will get updated.

There are a number of areas where the credit report can be inaccurate. A common mistake is listing late payments where your records indicate that you have made all payments on time. If you are in possession of canceled checks or statements showing the payment with a date, then you can get these entries removed. Outdated information on the credit report can also be disputed. All data, except for bankruptcy, has a seven year life span. The other big issue is if a fraudulent account appears on the report. This can be the result of identity theft or someone with a similar name showing up on your account.

The process of filing the dispute begins by writing the dispute and claim. A letter is written to the credit reporting agency, or their online dispute form utilized. From the time of filing, the credit reporting company has thirty days to investigate the dispute and come to a conclusion. The result is mailed to you along with a copy of your credit report if it has been changed. The best chance you have is to make a copy of the credit report at issue, encircling the disputed item or items and giving them numbers. Use the numbers in your letter to best explain your claim, providing rationale behind making the dispute. Be sure that you include all of your pertinent information, including you full name, address, date of birth, social security number, name of the creditor and account numbers, and above all else sign the document. There are other ways to dispute items on the report. You can contact the creditor directly and dispute the information with them. If you make such a claim to the creditor and indicate that the information on the report is incorrect, then according to the FCRA, they must include a note in the report that the item is disputed, or not at all. If an error is found then it must be removed.

You claim might not get a settlement in your favor. If the dispute does not end in your favor, then you can dispute the claim with the National Consumer Assistance Center. This will require that you are equipped with the documentation and evidence of the inaccuracy. And despite all that work, if the item gets removed, the creditor may put them back on the report afterward. If it is believed that the credit bureau is in violation of the FCRA, then the Attorney General’s office should be contacted. There is the option to sue the bureau or creditor in state or federal court.

If you’d rather solicit a credit repair company to help with disputing your errors, check out Lexington Law Firm.

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. I think if anyone have any wrong information on his or her credit report then he should try to inform it to the credit reporting agencies as soon as possible to rectify it.

    Mortgage guy at 11:05 pm on June 1, 2009
  2. Thanks for sharing. It is useful for me.

    Alex at 12:52 pm on September 5, 2009
  3. How do you find out whats exactly on your credit report?

    Marquita Cooper at 9:49 am on January 27, 2010
  4. credit karma does not have my bank of america credit card listed and i’ve had a credit card since 1988.i believe if it was on my account it would help my credit score. thanks ben white

    ben a. white at 9:30 am on March 5, 2014
  5. Mike

    Hi Ben – If you’re seeing incorrect information on your account, feel free to email us over at support@creditkarma.com. We’d be happy to look into it. Thanks!

    Mike at 2:13 pm on March 5, 2014
  6. I looked over the report and see a vehicle loan on a car that I no longer own. I couldn’t afford to fix it and make the payments yeah a lemon. I volunteer to have it repo and they keep sayin im still responsible for the entire loan so they keep reporting it a delinquent although they have sold it to someone else. What do I need to do to get this removed off of my reports?

    Paul Spears at 6:45 am on July 13, 2014
  7. Mike

    Hi Paul – That sounds like a bit of a tricky situation. I’d recommend checking our advice center to see if anyone’s found themselves in a comparable spot: https://www.creditkarma.com/all/advice

    Mike at 9:24 am on July 14, 2014
  8. Hi Team,

    This is my first visit to US.I landed in US on 12th April 2014 and I just got my credit score set up in Credit Karma.. When I checked my report I can see that there was a hard enquiry on Apr 4, 2014 by some ONSITE MANAG. Not sure why its there?? Can you please help me on it as I never came to US before 12th April 2014.


    Saurabh Gupta at 11:47 am on August 13, 2014
  9. Mike

    Hi Saurabh – Thanks for your question. I’d recommend getting in touch with our member support team about this issue. You can file a ticket with them here: https://www.creditkarma.com/about/help


    Mike at 9:00 am on August 14, 2014
  10. Could you please provide the different contact numbers to the 3 credit bureaus’ so that I can report some false information?

    Rushawn Yates at 10:17 pm on September 18, 2014
  11. Mike

    Hi Rushawn – Sure! You can find that information here: http://www.usa.gov/topics/money/credit/credit-reports/bureaus-scoring.shtml

    Mike at 9:15 am on September 19, 2014
  12. I have some accounts that went into collection. I had been ill and now retired. The collection agency keeps making new reports on the same account that was previously reported. It keeps getting reported like the collection accounts are new. How can I get the repeated ones that are the same as previously reported off.

    Linda Pouncy at 6:43 pm on October 30, 2014
  13. I have a car loan that went into collections about 8 yrs ago. 6 yrs went by and the debt was sold to a different collection agency. Is that legal considering the debt would have come off after the seventh yr?

    Keith at 9:51 pm on October 30, 2014
  14. I recently pulled my credit report for the first time and saw that I have 2 remarks on it. The first is Verizon Wireless where an ex got a phone line using my info and then broke the contract. Is there a way that I can get Verizon, other than simply paying their high ammount, to remove this from my credit? Since I didnt agree to any contract I shouldn’t be held liable for any money. The second is Comcast. Comcast bills monthly service in advance with no contract. If service is not paid they cut you off and either owe nothing or pay the next bill to get reconnected. After a few years of service my bill began to increase. After it got to a point and they could not answer me as to why I told them I did not want their service anymore and switched to ATT. Now they say I owe them over $700 and have reported it on my credit. My bill was $119 per month to begin with, so there’s no way to legitimate a bill that high. How can I fight this on my credit?

    mark longo at 10:02 am on December 3, 2014
  15. Mike

    Hi Mark – Thanks for your post. I’d recommend posting your questions in our advice center to see if any other Credit Karma members have experience with similar issues. You can check that out here: https://www.creditkarma.com/all/advice


    Mike at 11:47 am on December 3, 2014
  16. How do I dispute certain things on my credit report and if they are closed and way past 7 years get them off ?

    amy at 8:38 pm on December 8, 2014
  17. Strange address on my credit report, have no idea how to delete..pls. assist.. Thank’s.

    John at 8:39 am on March 15, 2015
  18. Mike

    Hi John – You can find out more about how to handle incorrect personal information here: https://www.creditkarma.com/article/update-personal-information-credit-report


    Mike at 11:28 am on March 16, 2015
  19. I have only two active credit cards and they do not show up on my account. The two cards that do show up have been closed since 9/13. In addition, I have two auto loans that show up on Experian and only one of the loans show up (correctly) on Trans. The second auto loan was a car that was totaled and paid off. I have been trying to correct these errors for quite sometime, to no avail.

    Summertime at 6:58 pm on June 29, 2015
  20. Enola Guerrero

    Hello – To fix any errors you see on your report, please go here: https://www.creditkarma.com/article/dispute-credit-report-errors


    Enola Guerrero at 10:51 am on June 30, 2015
  21. My ex husband’s credit card is still showing up on my credit report. I was only an authorized signed, which the bank removed years ago. How do I get this to show being reported under my name?

    Jennifer at 4:32 am on July 5, 2015
  22. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Jennifer – To fix any errors on your credit report, please go here: https://www.creditkarma.com/article/dispute-credit-report-errors

    Thank you!

    Enola Guerrero at 10:21 am on July 6, 2015
  23. I have a couple of accounts that were closed from nonpayment or sold to creditors but at still reporting it. is there something I can do to stop them from reporting it? I also have a couple of medical bills being reported but I’m ill and disabled is there something I can do so they can stop reporting on a monthly basis?

    Yoli at 3:44 pm on October 19, 2015
  24. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Yoli – Please file a dispute with the credit bureaus directly with any errors you see on your report. Thanks!

    Enola Guerrero at 11:40 am on October 21, 2015
  25. The balance showing on my one credit card is from two months ago. Since then and now it is below the limit. Why isn’t this information updated?

    Ronald Ferretti at 10:36 am on December 9, 2015
  26. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Ronald – Depending on the credit bureau and the lender, it can take up to a month or longer for it to update on Credit Karma. If it has been too long, you can dispute it directly with the bureau. Thank you.

    Enola Guerrero at 2:03 pm on December 9, 2015
  27. For many years, my credit has been in the high 700’s or low 800’s.
    Last fall, I cosigned a car loan for my daughter. She has missed a couple of payments and has been continuously late, however not too far behind.
    All her errors are now coming up on my credit report, what can I do?

    Mary Wilson (oldjayne@comcast.net)

    Mary Wilson at 4:55 pm on January 16, 2016

    Aurora J. Moreno at 9:36 pm on January 20, 2016
  29. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Mary – Generally, when you cosign for anything, it will be on your credit report as well. If any of it doesn’t seem correct, you may dispute it directly with the credit bureau. https://www.creditkarma.com/article/dispute-credit-report-errors


    Enola Guerrero at 11:58 am on January 21, 2016
  30. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Aurora – Please contact our support team to assist you with this matter. https://www.creditkarma.com/about/contact


    Enola Guerrero at 2:23 pm on January 21, 2016

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