Millions of people have poor credit and many are considering bankruptcy. Before you decide how to manage your finances going forward, it is helpful to review your credit history and try to resolve any problems. Errors are often made to credit reports and sometimes there are items that appear on your report that are incorrect. In order to improve your credit score, you can attempt to resolve the mistakes on your report. One way to try to resolve these errors is by sending a letter to the credit bureau. This letter is also called a 609 dispute letter.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is legislation that is in place to protect the rights of consumers. The law allows for consumers to obtain information about their credit reports and gives them the ability to dispute incorrect information on the report. A credit agency has the obligation to review and investigate disputed errors on the report. If the agency cannot verify or confirm the disputed information, they must remove it from your report. The section that addresses dispute letters is actually 611 rather than 609. While the law does not directly call the dispute letter a 609 letter, many people commonly refer to it as such.
Can a 609 Letter Help Your Credit Score?
A dispute letter can help to resolve some problems on your credit report. You will need to review the details on your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you see any information that is incorrect you can file a dispute. The credit bureau must then review the disputed information and provide a finding. If they cannot provide proof to back up the information on the report, they must remove it from your report. Keep in mind that an agency has to either choose to investigate the dispute or remove the disputed item from your report within three days of receiving a dispute letter. Removing erroneous information can increase your credit score.
How to Dispute a Credit Report Error
The process of disputing a credit report error may vary from agency to agency. It is best to review the policy of the agency to find out the proper process for dispute. The process can be tedious because you need to submit a separate request for each dispute you have.
While there are some 609 letter templates online, it is often best to discuss the matter with your attorney. Your lawyer will help you review the errors and assist in providing you with letters that you can use to dispute the problems. You will need to keep track of your dispute letter submissions and recheck your credit report to verify that they properly removed the information. If you do not hear back from the credit agency you will need to submit a follow-up letter.
Always keep copies of your correspondence along with dates that you sent them to each bureau. If the credit bureau fails to make the proper corrections in the allotted time frame, you could be entitled to damages.
Your credit score is an important part of your financial health. If you find information that is not correct, it may be hurting your credit score and preventing you from getting a loan, mortgage, lease, or employment. To learn more about credit scores and bankruptcy, contact our legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or by email.