How to File a TransUnion® Dispute the Right Way
Disputing your TransUnion credit report is similar to disputing credit reports with Experian® or Equifax®, but it can help to know exactly what to expect when filing a dispute with a specific credit bureau. Below, we’ve laid out exactly what you need to know when filing a TransUnion dispute.
What You Need Before You Start
Recent Copy of Your Report
Make sure to file your dispute soon after ordering your report. Try to have your dispute filed within a week of receiving your copy of your credit report. You can only get one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus per year, so it's important to file disputes quickly after noticing inaccuracies unless you want to pay for a second copy of your report.
File Identification Number
Whether you file your dispute online, via mail or over the phone, you’ll need the File Identification Number on hand to reference in your correspondence or to give the TransUnion representative on the phone.
You can find your File Identification Number in the top right corner of the first page of your TransUnion report.
Copy of Your Driver’s License
Even if the error you’re disputing doesn’t have to do with your identifying information, you should still send a photocopy of your driver’s license with your dispute letter to confirm your identity.
Copy of a Recent Bank Statement, Utility Bill, Phone Bill or Other Bill with Your Name and Address
Especially if the address on your driver’s license is out of date, make sure you send along documentation that confirms your current address—preferably from an authority like your landlord or utilities provider.
Creditor Information for Each Item You Are Disputing
If you’re asking the credit bureau to make changes to information related to your borrowing history, you must be able to provide documentation that proves the change you’d like them to make is accurate. Examples of documentation you may want to gather include:
- Name of creditor
- Account number with creditor
- Copies of payment confirmation statements
- Verifying correspondence with creditor
How to File a Dispute via Mail
To file a dispute through the mail, you’ll need to write a dispute letter and mail it to:
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016
You can write your own letter or use our downloadable template to get started. Here’s everything your letter should include:
At the top of your letter you’ll need to include your own information as a header. You should include:
- Your name
- Your mailing address
- Your date of birth
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Your file identification number
- The date of your dispute
TransUnion’s mailing address should go on the outside of the envelope and on the letter itself after the date of the dispute.
Statement of Intent
Begin your letter with a clear statement of intent, such as, “I am writing to dispute an item on my most recent credit report, which states [inaccurate information] and should instead read [correction].”
Explanation of Error and List of Included Documents
It’s not enough to simply state what the error is; you also need to explain why it’s incorrect and provide proof that the correction you’re providing is accurate. Some examples include:
- Incorrect personal information: Explain what is incorrect and state that you have included copies of your identifying documents and/or proof of address in the form of a lease, utilities bill, etc.
- Closed account marked open: Explain that you closed the account in question, stating the exact date, what the balance was, and when the last payment was made. Include the name of the creditor, your account number, and state that you have included copies of your credit statement, confirmation of account closure, correspondence with the credit issuer confirming closure, etc.
- Incorrect payment history: State exactly what payments are reflected incorrectly, including the credit card company or loan issuer's name, the incorrect date and payment amount, the correct date and payment amount, and include copies of each payment with dates as well as any correspondence with the credit issuer confirming closure.
Be sure to include a clear list of the documents that are included and how they relate to the correction of the error you are disputing. Be sure that all of your documents are clearly dated, and don’t forget to also include a copy of the credit report itself.
Request for Correction
Reiterate the correction you are asking the bureau to make and state that you look forward to a reply within 30 days.
Sign and Print Name
Be sure to both type or write your full name and sign it physically with a pen.
In order to make absolutely sure your dispute is received, experts recommend mailing it with CRRR, or Certified Mail Return Requested. This will provide the sender with a receipt when the dispute is successfully delivered.
Filing all credit reporting disputes through the mail and making copies of every document you’re sending to the agency helps you keep a paper trail of each interaction for your records. Keeping documentation of your dispute can help in case:
- TransUnion does not respond within 30 days.
- The dispute is rejected and you decide to re-file.
- You decide to file a complaint against TransUnion with the Federal Trade Commission.
How to File a Dispute Online
To file online, you can follow these three steps:
- Log into TransUnion’s credit dispute portal.
- Create an account and request an investigation.
- Upload all supporting verification that you would normally include in your mailed dispute letter (see above).
Though filing a dispute online is convenient, you will lose some of your Fair Credit Reporting Act protections if you choose to do so without also following up via mail. When disputing through the mail, TransUnion is required to send the results of the investigation in writing to the borrower. They must also forward the dispute to the creditor and prove their method of verification.
These three requirements do not apply to online disputes.
How to File a Dispute Over the Phone
To file a dispute with TransUnion over the phone, you can call 1-800-916-8800 anytime between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time from Monday to Friday.
When calling, be sure to have on hand all of the information you would include in a mailed dispute letter: your file identification number, proof of identification, a copy of your credit report, copies of verifying documents from creditors, etc.
It’s also worth noting that you will still need to mail in copies of your verifying evidence using instructions provided by your customer service representative, so be sure to have everything printed and prepared to mail as soon as your phone dispute is filed.
Even if you decide to file your dispute over the phone or online, it’s recommended that you also send a secondary record of your dispute in the mail to establish a paper trail.
What Happens Next
After you file your dispute, TransUnion has 30 days to reply. If you filed your dispute via the mail, TransUnion owes you a number of things:
- A written notice of the conclusion of your dispute (correction made or dispute rejected).
- The opportunity to request that TransUnion notifies anyone who has requested your credit report in the past six months of the change that has been made resulting from your dispute.
- An explanation of the verification method used to determine the legitimacy of your dispute and supporting documentation.
If You Don’t Hear Anything
Occasionally, a credit bureau will not reply to a dispute within the required 30 days. At this point, you can follow up with TransUnion over the phone. Be sure to have your file identification number handy as well as the date of your original dispute and, if applicable, the information on your certified mail receipt confirmation.
If Your Dispute Was Rejected
If your dispute was denied, it could be for a couple of reasons. If you were trying to get accurate information removed from your credit report, you will likely come up against this result.
If you believe your dispute is legitimate and it was rejected anyway, you can refile your dispute after determining why it was denied and fix any missing or incorrect information on your dispute.
If you provide insufficient evidence, it’s likely your dispute will be rejected. This is why it’s helpful to have copies of the dispute documentation you sent on file, so you can look back through it, see where you may have missed something and refile with better evidence.
Your dispute could get rejected if any part of it was unclear. If you didn’t state every element of your dispute clearly in your letter, it could be written off as not clear enough to investigate thoroughly.
Finally, if you didn’t mail your dispute through certified mail and get a receipt of confirmation, it’s possible your dispute never made it to TransUnion. If you have a receipt of confirmation, you can follow up with the postal service to learn more about whether your dispute letter was lost.
Getting Help with Your TransUnion Dispute
If you have multiple inaccuracies to dispute, are juggling different credit repair issues, or if you’re not confident in your ability to file a dispute properly, you can hire a credit repair company to help you figure out how to effectively file a credit report dispute.
The dispute process can seem long and arduous, but individual errors can impact credit scores, so a successful dispute can really impact your creditworthiness. By keeping an eye on your credit reports and being sure to dispute them as soon as you see a mistake, you can ensure your credit is consistently in good health.
from a Credit Expert