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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]

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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]

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How to Complain

Most Complained About Banks – We crunched the numbers

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.

Analysis of CFPB DATA

  • Bank of America remains America’s most complained about bank
  • Ocwen has rapidly become America’s most complained about mortgage servicer. (Not surprising, given the mistakes they have made. If you are a customer, you could get money back from them. Find out more here.)
  • Citibank Credit Cards have the highest complaint ratio (complaints as a % of total credit cards)
  • Capital One received the most retail bank complaints per branch (with Bank of America a close second)
  • Experian is the most complained about credit bureau
  • Encore Capital Group is the most complained about debt collector

If you are having a problem with your bank, you can get help with your complaint from the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). Just file your complaint online, and they will help you get answers – and maybe even money. I told the story of my friend, who had his credit history fixed and money reimbursed, in this DailyFinance article. The CFPB has received over 400,000 complaints since it was launched, providing a real alternative for people to get help.

The CFPB makes its complaint database public. To date, over 250,000 complaints have been made public (and more are being added to the database every day). At MagnifyMoney, we believe that public access to complaint data is a great public service. It enables people like us to identify trends, rank banks based upon complaints, and help consumers make good financial decisions.

Today we are pleased to release our analysis of the complaint database.

Over 76,000 complaints were made public during the first six months of the year. Of the big four banks, Bank of America remains the most complained about bank. 5,261 people complained about BofA. Wells Fargo received 4,834 complaints. Chase received 3,988 complaints and Citibank received 3,025.

What does this mean for you?

We have crunched the complaint numbers, and have the following tips:

  1. If Ocwen is your mortgage servicer (now the largest non-bank servicer in the country), you should pay close attention. They have a history of mistakes, which can be very costly. If you are having problems with Ocwen, don’t be shy. Complain to the CFPB, and tell Ocwen that you are going to complain to the CFPB. They are a bit touchy, given they have just been punished with a judgment of more than $2 billion due to their mistakes.

  2. If you are receiving calls from a collection agency, you have rights. And if someone like Encore Capital Group keeps calling you – and you don’t know why – don’t be afraid to raise the issue to the CFPB (and tell Encore that you are doing so).

  3. For choosing a retail bank, we have long argued that branch-free banking is the way to go. Traditional banks pay the lowest rates on savings accounts, charge the highest monthly and overdraft fees, and limit you to their ATM network. Look at our checking account and savings account pages to make your checking account free, earn the highest interest on your savings account, and ditch your traditional bank. Of the big banks, Chase has half as many complaints per branch at BofA. And PNC and US Bancorp always did well.

  4. Credit bureaus can make mistakes. You should check your credit report every year, and make sure that mistakes aren’t there. You are allowed to get a free report every year from all three bureaus, and make sure you do. To get the issue fixed, you can go straight to the bureau. But, if they don’t move quickly enough, use the CFPB.

  5. The biggest complaint categories for credit cards are billing disputes and ID fraud. Sign up for alerts with your credit card company (they can send you an email if a large purchase is made). You should also download your bank’s app so that you can keep an eye on spending. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately – and you should keep a paper trail of your communication with your bank. The earlier you catch anything suspicious, the better.

At MagnifyMoney, we will continue to update the complaint database, and try to provide you  with useful tips based upon the data.

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]