To dispute a credit report you must go online to the proper credit repository, mail them, or call them and request a consumer dispute statement. There are 3 credit repositories and here they are with the addresses, phone numbers and websites to handle disputes;
Equifax Information Service
PO Box 740256,
Atlanta, GA 30339
PO Box 2106
Allen, TX 75002
PO Box 390
Springfield, PA 19064-0390
Generally a dispute form will need to completed and submitted, along with any applicable documentation you may have (if any). The credit repository then has 5 days to contact the appropriate credit grantor and then 30 days to receive a reply from the credit grantor. Within 5 days of the completion of the investigation, the credit repository must send a written report to the borrower with its findings and a copy of the revised report if there was any change.
Credit dispute and repairing take about 2-3 months at least. If you are trying to obtaining some kind of financing, always start early enough that your credit would be ready when you need it.
Disputing credit can be very time consuming. However, many brokers can offer you a service called a Rapid Rescore. This service allows borrowers to provide evidence from their creditors that accounts are inaccurately portrayed on their credit reports. The broker will then send this information to credit report service provider to have it instantly changed and your credit report rescored. The process usually takes between 3 to 7 days.
If you do not want to perform these tasks yourself you can hire a crdit repair company to do them for you. The fees for credit repair service vary widely from hundreds to thousands of dollars, you should ask your mortgage broker for the name of a reputable service.
Credit attorneys are typically more affective than a credit repair service. With the superior results also comes a higher price for their services.
It is a good idea to check your credit report at least once a year. Sometimes things will appear on your credit report that are not yours if you have a common name (ex. John Smith). Having inaccurate information on your credit report can cost you hundreds if not thousands when shopping for a home or car.
Technically, a consumer can do everything that a attorney or credit repair company can do in regards to disputing credit report issues. The advantage that the professional services have is that they are very familiar with effective strategies to challenge and remove disputed items that may not be known to most consumers. They also are aware of what documentation and procedures that the creditors must have in order to validate their reporting to the credit bureaus. As with many professional services, it is not so much what they do but rather what they know to do.
When disputing a debt you must keep a log of all conversations and information sent. Just because you dispute a debt doesn't mean your credit report will automatically reflect the dispute.