Advertiser Disclosure

Building Credit, How to Complain

Where To Dispute Your Credit Report Online

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

It has never been easier to dispute incorrect information on your credit reports online. You are now able to dispute information to all three credit reporting agencies online. We will provide you with instructions for each reporting agency below.

Just one warning: we highly recommend that you disputes online and in writing. If you do not like the outcome of the dispute, a paper trail will be very helpful for the dispute. And written letters, sent by certified mail, are much more effective. In addition to providing you with the online dispute information, we will also provide you with the mailing address for each credit reporting agency below.

TransUnion

You can dispute with TransUnion at dispute.transunion.com.

You can call them at 1-800-916-8800.

You can dispute in writing at this address:

TrasnUnion, LLC Consumer Dispute Center, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19022

Equifax

You can dispute online with Equifax here.

You can dispute in writing at this address:

Equifax Information Services, LLC, PO Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374

Equifax does not provide a telephone number on their website. They tell you to refer to the telephone number provided on your credit report.

Experian

You can dispute online with Experian at http://www.experian.com/disputes/.

You can dispute in writing at this address:

Experian’s National Consumer Assistance Center, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013.

Experian has a customer service phone number, which is 1-866-200-6020.

The Process

If you want to dispute an item on your credit report, we recommend the following process.

First, download your most recent credit report from all three credit reporting agencies. You can obtain your free report at AnnualCreditReport.com.  You are allowed to download one free report every year. Don’t be fooled by the free credit score websites. In order to see what is on your credit report, you need to have your full report.

Once you identify the incorrect information, you should dispute in writing and online. When you draft your letter, make sure you keep a copy of your letter for your files. In addition, you should send the letter with certified mail so that you have proof of your correspondence. In your letter, please include as much information as possible. Credit reporting agencies are used to receiving many disputes from people who are just trying to get something legitimate removed. The more details you have and you can share, the better the chance of getting the right outcome during your first dispute.

The credit reporting agencies have 30 days to respond. If you do not like the response that you receive, you do not have to quit. Instead, you should share your complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can submit your complaint online here.

After you file your appeal with the credit reporting agency, you may want to appeal to the creditor as well. For example, if Capital One has an account that you do not believe is yours, you should send them a letter (also via certified mail) disputing the account. You should include as much information as possible in the letter, and let them know that you will also be disputing the information with the credit reporting agencies.

Once It Is Fixed

Once you get your credit reports fixed, you have the right to ask the credit reporting agencies to send updated information to anyone who requested a report in the last six months. For example, you may have applied for a job and been embarrassed by a collection item that did not belong to you. Once the information is cleared up on your credit report, the credit reporting agency could provide updated information to your employer.

Beware Disputes and Mortgages

If you are applying for a mortgage, you should be very careful before disputing an item on your credit report. For conforming mortgages (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), you often are unable to close a mortgage while a dispute is open. And disputes take time. That is another reason why it is important to keep an eye on your credit report regularly.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at [email protected]

Get Personal Loan Offers
Up to $50,000

$

Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Building Credit, Consumer Watchdog, How to Complain

NCTUE: The Database You Need To Know About

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Credit score large

All of us have been well trained: every year we need to download a free copy of our credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). However, there are over 400 databases out there capturing consumer information. And this information can end up in credit scores, insurance scores or other surprising places. If this information is incorrect, it could make your life more difficult and more expensive.

One database that is set to become very important is the National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (or NCTUE). 70 of the largest cable companies, pay TV companies and other utilities joined together with Equifax to create a database. This database contains information about your payment history, including records of when you failed to make payments on time to your utility companies. The database contains both positive and negative information.

As you can imagine, not all of the data is accurate. The credit reporting industry does not have the best reputation. And neither does the cable industry. With this database, we have over 70 companies reporting information to Equifax on a regular basis. There definitely will be errors.

This database is going to become more important because FICO will likely start using NCTUE data in future scoring models.

There is good news: you have the ability to request a free copy of this report every year, just like a credit report. And there is a dispute process. We are all responsible for managing our own data, and it is highly recommended that people request their annual free copy, and immediately dispute any incorrect information. We will explain how to do both of those below.

Free Annual Copy Of Your Report

Unfortunately you can not request a copy online. There are two ways to request the report.

You can call 1-866-349-5185. Ask for the NCTUE Disclosure Report.

Otherwise, you can mail a request to the following address:

NCTUE Disclosure Report, PO Box 105161, Atlanta, GA 30374.

Security Freeze

Just like a standard credit report, you also have the ability to put a security freeze on this report. When you put a freeze on your report, it will prevent the NCTUE from sharing your information with the utility and telecommunication companies. If someone has stolen your identity and tries to open a telephone line with your information, for example, they would not be able to with a freeze.

You can complete a freeze online, at this website.

Fraud Alert

If you do not want to freeze your account, but you believe you may have been the victim of fraud, then consider adding a Fraud Alert to your account. With a fraud freeze, information will be passed along to the utility company. However, they will be made aware of the fraud alert and will be required to complete a higher level of verification.

To place a fraud freeze on your account, you can call 1-866-349-3233.

Dispute

If you see information in your credit report that does not look accurate, you have the right to dispute the information. When you receive your report (yes, it is a paper report), a Dispute Form will be included. Just fill out and return the dispute form to start the process.

Complaints?

If you are having issues with the NCTUE, we encourage you to complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They take complaints regarding credit reporting agencies, and this database should fall under that definition.

You can complain online, or via telephone. The phone number is 1-855-411-2372.

Or, register your complaint online here.

Other Databases

You can follow the same process with both your standard credit reports and the ChexSystems report.

You can get your credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. You can dispute information found on your report here:

To check for a free copy of your ChexSystems report (which has information on bank accounts, including overdrafts, bounced checks and other negative information), visit this website. And you can dispute information here.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at [email protected]

Get Personal Loan Offers
Up to $50,000

$

Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

How to Complain, Mortgage, News

CFPB Warns Consumers of Reverse Mortgage Problems

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

MagnifyNews-02-01

As more Americans age, reverse mortgages are growing in popularity as a way for retirees to unlock the investment in their homes. 41% of Americans age 55-64 have no retirement savings account, and even those that do have a median balance of only $103,000. Yet homeowners over age 62 have nearly $4 trillion in equity in their homes, and that’s the source of retirement savings most people will ultimately rely on.

While smiling celebrity pitches make reverse mortgages them sound safe and appealing, they are riddled with fine print and traps for the uninitiated.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a report highlighting consumer complaints relating to reverse mortgages.

Some of the most common issues include:

Not being aware the loan can’t be taken over. When the last borrow dies, the loan comes due and must be repaid – either at the balance remaining or 95% of the property’s assessed value. That often means the house must be sold to cover the loan. Many surviving family members are unaware of this, and struggle with the fact that the home they were counting on keeping must be sold, as they are not eligible to take over the payments on the loan.

Not keeping up with property taxes and insurance. Many complaints arise when lenders claim property taxes are overdue, which put the mortgage in default, even though the taxes were paid. Families need to be diligent about making sure the loan servicer is keeping accurate records.

Younger generations living in the home and being surprised. Mortgage servicers want payment as soon as possible after the last borrower dies, leaving family members who may live in the borrower’s house in the lurch. They may feel pressured to take action that’s not in their best interest, and not understand all of the options available. In this situation, the CFPB advises contacting a Housing and Urban Development counselor to get a free assessment. You can find one near you here.

Inflated appraisals. Within 30 days of notification that the loan is due, the lender will send an appraiser to determine the home’s current value. The amount heirs have to pay is the lower of 95% of that appraised value or the remaining balance on the mortgage. Many complaints involve appraisals that are inflated and the don’t accurately reflect the value of the home, leaving the family paying more than it’s truly worth. This is especially a problem in situations when house prices have declined since the reverse mortgage was taken, and the appraised value is lower than the remaining balance of the loan.

Even the best planning won’t avoid every sticky issue with a reverse mortgage.

If your family is having problems with a reverse mortgage, and the servicer is giving you the runaround, the CFPB is available to help.

Simply use the CFPB complaint form to tell them about your problem, and who the servicer is.

The servicer will be required to respond to the CFPB with the status of your complaint by law, and you’ll often get a faster response than if you try contacting the servicer on your own.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brian Karimzad
Brian Karimzad |

Brian Karimzad is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brian at [email protected]

Compare Mortgage Loan Offers for Free

Home Purchase Quotes

Home Refinance Quotes

(It only takes 3 minutes!)

NMLS #1136 Terms & Conditions Apply