Filing a dispute online through the online dispute form is the easiest and the quickest.
When you access your credit report online, the credit reporting agencies will also provide you with a section on the webpage where you can dispute items. This dispute page will summarize your accounts and offer multiple-choice dispute possibilities for each of them. For example, a multiple-choice dispute description could be as follows:
- The account is not mine.
- The account is incorrect i.e. past due indications are incorrect.
- The item/account is too old to be included on my credit report.
When you attempt to dispute any information online, a pop-up may ask you whether you are absolutely sure that you intend to dispute this item. Do not be afraid to click yes in order to proceed. This almost seem like an intimidation tactic trying to make you think that you may not be legally allowed to dispute an item at the credit reporting agency sees as correct or valid. This is not true. In fact, you have a legal right to dispute any items or information you believe to be inaccurate on your credit file.
Just like the online dispute forms, credit reports that are sent to you through postal mail have a dispute form attached to them as well. This is a pre-typed form that you should fill out if you see anything inaccurate on your credit report and send it to the dispute address provided by the credit reporting agencies. These forms are streamlined and simplified by the credit reporting agencies for two reasons. First, they make it easier for the consumer to report the dispute in their format which, secondly makes it convenient for them to handle this information and have their trained representatives quickly read and transfer onto their credit verification forms.
There is no harm in using the forms that come attached with your credit report through the mail or online. The only time that you might want to write your own dispute record is when there is not enough space for the the explanation does not address the problem on your credit file. Usually there is a line or box to provide details of the issue you need to resolve on the form as well. However, if you feel that the space or the format is not appropriate for your dispute issue, feel free to write your own dispute letter.
One thing to remember is that try and not provide the credit reporting agency with any more personal information than they are entitled to just because they ask for it does not mean you have to give it to them.