How To: Remove Negative Items From Your Credit Report

credit report disputeIt’s not unusual for an item on an individuals credit report to be incorrect. Getting this information changed and updated can be a hassle, but is well worth doing as it may be effecting how eligible you are for new credit and the current rate of interest you’re being offered. Which is why we’ve put together this handy how to guide.

Remember, you’re allowed access to your credit report for free every twelve months from each of the consumer reporting agencies.

We recommend contacting both the creditor (the company that has reported the incorrect information) and the consumer reporting agencies (one of the three companies [Equifax, TransUnion & Experian] that maintains credit reports) that show this incorrect or inaccurate information.

Consumer reporting agencies have a period of thirty days to respond to these complaints (please note: if you requested a free copy of your credit report through FACTA then these agencies have a period of fourty-five days to respond).

Credit Report Disputes Online

All three of the consumer reporting agencies now have online facilities that allow consumers to dispute negative credit items online. Use the following websites to start the dispute process. You’ll need a copy of your credit report, along with any supporting evidence which proves that the negative item is incorrect or inaccurate.

Credit Report Disputes Via Phone

It’s best to use the phone numbers found on your individual credit reports as these will be the most up to date numbers, as the consumer reporting agencies regularly change these numbers.

  • Equifax: (800) 864-2978
  • TransUnion: 800-916-8800
  • Experian: (888) 397-3742

Credit Ceport Disputres Via Mail

To do so an individual must send a letter of dispute along with supporting evidence. It’s then up to the creditor that provided this information to prove it’s correct within 30 (45 if the incorrect information was found via a free credit report) days of being notified.

Both Equifax & TransUnion require you to complete their forms and mail it in.

Equifax form can be found here here and TransUnion here.

Sample Credit Bureau Dispute Letter

Below we’ve provided a sample of what a dispute letter should look like.  It’s also a good idea for the individual to include any supporting information they have (such as a receipt for a credit item that is marked as unpaid), this will help to speed up the process. You’ll need to replace the information found in [ ] brackets with your own.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your City, State, Zip Code]

[Complaint Department]
[Name of Credit Bureau]
[Address][City, State, Zip Code]


Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. The items I dispute also are encircled on the attached copy of the report I received.

This item [identify item(s) disputed by name of source, such as creditors or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.] is [inaccurate or incomplete] because [describe what is inaccurate or incomplete and why]. I am requesting that the item [be deleted or request another specific change] to correct the information.

Enclosed are copies of (use this sentence if applicable and describe any enclosed documentation, such as payment records, court documents) supporting my position. Please reinvestigate [this/these] matter(s) and [delete or correct] the disputed item(s) as soon as possible.


[Your name]

[Enclosures: (List what you are enclosing)]

Credit Bureau Addresses


Equifax Information Services LLC
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374


TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000,
Chester, PA 19022-2000


P.O. Box 4000
Allen, TX 75013

Unhappy With The Result?

If you are unhappy with the result of the credit bureaus investigation, then you can file a complaint with consumer finance. To do so:

  1. Visit
  2. Click “Credit Reports”
  3. Complete then submit the online form

You can also contact the FTC or your local legal Representative.

Successfully had items removed?

If you’ve succesfully had negative items removed from your report it’s worth asking your current creditors if they can reduce your interest rates on loans. This is because you may have previously been in a different risk category and are now less risky due to this incorrect information being removed.

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oldest most voted

stiletto Knife
stiletto Knife (@guest_1825180)
April 3, 2024 11:51

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Jerry eikum
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slaven (@guest_1590409)
April 2, 2023 21:50

can u dispute when a bank does a double hard pull after applying for one of their cc? chase and Barclays have started to do, with inquiries separated by days.

BlissfulApathy (@guest_1071350)
October 11, 2020 04:47

Old post but I strongly recommend only disputing via snail mail. I once disputed online with Equifax and all they did was “acknowledge” my dispute….but literally changed nothing.

I think the online dispute forms are just there to screw with consumers and hopefully get people to ragequit (never getting around to mail dispute). What do you think  William Charles ?

sg77 (@guest_1071403)
October 11, 2020 12:28

After you did the online dispute, did you then submit the same dispute via snail mail and get a different result?

BlissfulApathy (@guest_1071630)
October 12, 2020 04:42

sg77 Nah, I only saw the erroneous hp in March, and by that time I couldn’t justify going to the post office to send certified letter because pandemic. It was on Equifax anyway, so it’s nbd now.

Poker pro
Poker pro (@guest_379078)
March 29, 2017 04:16

I had tax filed for money i did not owe. I had them removed from trans and exp very easily. Equifax on the other hand refused to delete it through multiple disputes despite providing a letter from the dept of revenue stating i never owed the money… I filed a complaint with the cfpb, but they basically just collect data to find which companies make multiple offenses and couldn’t really help. I have an open complaint with the bbb but fear that will not help either. How can i get the liens with false information removed?

ZiggyZ (@guest_535369)
December 14, 2017 15:55

Check with the US Treasury. They are one of the main branches in the US Gov’t that deal specifically with money coming in/out. When you pay the IRS, it goes to the US Treasury.

Check with them to see i they’re able to find something.

Kc (@guest_566930)
March 5, 2018 17:13

File a law suit against them!

Tatiana (@guest_569329)
March 12, 2018 21:41

Yep, sue them and you will win plus they might pay you just so you shut up.

ColinC (@guest_23931)
August 18, 2014 16:39

This article was very useful. I had a bank do a hard pull when they told me they were going to check if I pre-qualified. The bank agreed to remove the inquiry but never did and I disputed that with Experian. Experian, however refused to remove the inquiry with the reason that the bank had “permissible purpose”. Filing a complaint with the CFPB with the bank manager’s promise was enough to make them remove it.

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