Is It a Good Idea to Dispute the Credit Bureaus Online?

Mortgage and Lending with HomeTown Lenders

Buyers who know they need to improve their credit scores before they can be preapproved or prequalify often want to undertake the challenge of "repairing" their credit online. This is one of the most common questions I receive, "Is it a good idea to dispute the credit bureaus online?"

I'm not going to tell you NOT to dispute online, but let me share some reasons you may not know about before you do!

Even though disputing online may sound like a fast efficient way to fix an error on your credit report, you may be wrong. Disputing online makes the credit bureau's job easier NOT YOURS. There is little regard for your best interests when disputes are made online.

My advice - Almost never dispute online! Why you may ask? Well, check out the reasons below so you are aware of the "terms and conditions" you are agreeing to if you do.

First let me say when it may be a good idea to dispute online.

  • You are removing inaccurate information about your name, address, birthday or Social Security.
  • You have absolute proof that an item is incorrect and not your.

We advise our clients to almost never dispute online because:

  1. Paper Trail - When you email a dispute online you have no evidence of the details or proof of the dispute and/or its contents. You may need this for follow up disputes.
  2. Time - The credit bureaus have 30 - 40 days to process the dispute request. An online dispute goes into an automated system and a request to verify is sent via E-Oscar to the data furnisher. You are making it easier for them to process and respond to your request, but many times without a human ever touching your dispute!
  3. Limited Dispute Reason - You may be limited to the type and reasons for your dispute, which can make the accuracy of the description limited.
  4. Expeditious Dispute Resolution - Remember the "terms and conditions" I mentioned that you agree to when disputing online? The consumer has rights and protections according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act section 611a(8) that are modified.

In the Expeditious Dispute Resolution section, "The agency shall not be required to comply with paragraph 2, 6 and 7 if they delete the tradeline within 3 days."

Paragraph 2 requires the Credit Reporting Agency to forward your dispute and all related documentation or proof that you sent them. Rarely do they forward all your information.

Paragraph 6 requires the Credit Reporting Agency to provide you with written results.

Paragraph 7 requires the Credit Reporting Agency to provide you with the method of verification upon request from you, the consumer. (The method of verification is a powerful tool to help you in your dispute process. If this resolution is used, the right to verify is eliminated!)

In a nutshell, if you do an online dispute and they "delete" it in 3 days, you think you have it made. But, since they deleted it they have invoked the Expeditious Dispute Dispute Resolution which says they now don't have to forward your information to the creditor (so they have no idea you challenged it). Since the creditor has no idea, they just re-report it in the next reporting cycle and it re-appears.

Note - If they do re-insert the item there is a standard notice that is required to be sent before re-insertion.

For professional assistance with your credit challenges, call me at (615) 895-4265 or watch a 4 minute video






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