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If your information is incorrect or outdated, you can file a dispute with Experian to remove the items from your credit report. Find out how to dispute your Experian credit report in this how-to guide. Let’s dive in.
Does your credit report show an incorrect account number? Name? Address? What about outdated information that should have been updated by now, such as a late payment or collections account?
Experian puts together your credit report after it receives data from financial institutions, government agencies, debt collectors, landlords, and lenders.
Unfortunately, a simple error can hurt your credit score.
Here is how to dispute your Experian credit report and protect your credit score, so you can qualify for a new credit card or loan.
How to Dispute Your Experian Credit Report (Step-by-Step)
Step #1: Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
Before you dispute your Experian credit report, the first thing you need to do is request a copy of your credit report. Annualcreditreport.com allows you to get your credit report from all three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, & TransUnion). It is entirely free.
What Do I Need to Check for On My Experian Credit Report?
Reading a credit report is like learning a foreign language. It is confusing, complicated, and takes time to understand. When reading your credit report, you need to check for two things: correct identifying information (PII) and errors.
It is important to note that incorrect personal information will not hurt your credit score; however, it could indicate you are a victim of fraud or identity theft.
Or it could mean your financial information was mixed up with someone else’s. This is what you need to review:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Current Mailing Address
- Past Mailing Address
- Legal Name
- Current and Past Employers
- Phone Number
- Birth Date
Take note of any information that is incorrect or needs to be updated. Next, you need to review your Experian credit report for errors.
Experian Credit Report Errors
An error on your Experian credit report will hurt your credit score. Here is what you need to look out for:
- Late Payments
- Collection Accounts that do not belong to you
- Improper ‘payment’ amounts. You know how much you pay on expenses each month. Is it correct on your credit report?
- Bankruptcies/Public Records – If you have a generic or popular name, then the chance Experian made a reporting mistake is a lot higher.
- Hard Inquiries
Again, take note of negative information or errors on your credit report. This documentation is important as you begin to file a dispute with Experian.
Step #2: Dispute Your Experian Credit Report (3 Ways)
You can dispute your Experian credit report online, by mail, or over the phone. The online dispute process is the easiest, safest, and quickest.
Dispute Experian Reports Online:
Fortunately, you can dispute your Experian credit report online. Before you can file a dispute, you need to register an account with Experian. After you register, you can log in and file as many disputes as you want.
Experian’s online dashboard is easy to navigate, allows you to upload supporting documentation, and track the dispute process.
Once you submit your dispute with Experian, you will receive periodic emails updating you about the progress.
Do note, that Experian has 30 business days to respond to your dispute request. However, most customers will hear back within 14 days or even sooner.
How to Dispute Experian Reports by Mail:
Sometimes a good ole’ letter in the mail to Experian will do the trick. When sending a letter to a credit bureau, it is advised to send it via certified mail and request a return receipt. Credit experts and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommend you do this.
Experian provides its customers with clear instructions on how to file a dispute by mail. In your letter, make sure you include:
- Full Name including middle initial (and generation such as JR, SR, II, III)
- Date of Birth (DOB)
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- All addresses where you have lived during the past two years
- One copy of a government-issued identification card. Most consumers use their driver’s license.
- One copy of a utility bill, bank, or insurance statement. This is so Experian can verify your address.
Aside from the personal information you need to include, also state what errors appear on your credit report and state why they are incorrect.
This is where your support documentation will be of help. After you write your letter, you need to mail it to Experian.
Here is Experian’s Mailing Address:
- Mailing Address: PO Box 4500 Allen, TX 75013
If you elect to file a dispute by mail, then Experian will not update anything online. They will respond to your dispute via mail as well.
Make sure you only send Experian copies of your documents. They do not return anything, so if you send them an original copy, you will not be getting it back.
Disputing Experian Credit Reports by Phone
As a customer, you can dispute an Experian credit report by phone as well. The process is straightforward and easy. All you must do is give them a call.
Below is the Experian Dispute Phone Number.
- Phone Number: 866-200-6020
Key Takeaway: Filing a Dispute with Experian
Whether you file a dispute by phone, mail, or online, make sure to choose an option you feel most comfortable with. Some people prefer to do everything online because they can receive real-time updates. Others prefer a more old-fashioned route and decide to file a dispute by phone or mail. It is entirely up to you.
How Long Does a Dispute with Experian Take?
According to Experian, disputes take between 10 – 14 business days. However, most are done within two-three business days. It all depends on how many items you are challenging, Experian’s current caseload, and what day of the week you file on.
Do I Have to File a Dispute with Experian Myself?
While it is relatively easy to file a dispute with Experian by yourself, the process can be overwhelming and intimidating. As a consumer, you can turn to the best credit repair companies who will hold your hand through the entire process.
Dealing with the credit bureaus is their forte. They know what disputes work and which ones do not. Additionally, they will protect your consumer rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you want professional help, then give Credit Saint a try.
To date, they have removed thousands of negative items off Experian credit reports.
What Happens After I File a Dispute with Experian?
After you file a dispute with Experian, they have 30 business days to respond to your request. During this time, they will review your request and make a financial decision.
If they agree with your dispute, then Experian will correct the information and will send you an updated credit report. However, if Experian does not agree with your supporting documentation or claim, then they will politely tell you their view.
This means you need to reach out to whatever entity misreported the information to Experian and have them make the necessary changes.
Chances are Experian is not the only credit report you will need to dispute. Check your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports as well.
Bottom Line: How to Dispute Your Experian Credit Report
Disputing your credit report with Experian is not hard, nor is it complex. Experian makes it easy for you to file a dispute online, by phone, or by mail. Choose a course of action that is easy for you to follow through with.
If this is not your first time filing a dispute, then consider credit monitoring services. Credit monitoring will help you track your credit score, protect your personal information, and more.
After all, your credit score is one of the most critical pieces of financial data that is used by lenders, employers, and other institutions.