There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing something that’s wrong or unfair on your credit report and being unable to fix it.
That pain point is especially difficult when you’ve already gone through the process of disputing an error (or many errors) with the major credit reporting agencies and, for one reason or another, your dispute was rejected and the mistake is still on your credit report. The mark remains, potentially plaguing your ability to get a car loan, mortgage or credit card. Do you just have to accept the fact that the dispute didn’t turn out in your favor?
According to John C. Heath, credit expert and attorney with Lexington Law, a Credit.com partner, “There are a couple of things that the consumer can do in this situation. First, there is no prohibition against challenging the item again with the credit bureau. I would contact the credit bureau again and advise that the item should be removed from the credit report.”
If a follow-up dispute, potentially with more documentation than the first attempt, also doesn’t end in the item being fixed or removed, Heath said reaching out to the bank or lender who’s named on the account is the next best step.
After all, a mistake like an inaccurate late payment or a collection account that doesn’t belong to you can take a major toll on your credit scores. (You can view your two free credit scores, updated monthly, on Credit.com to see how your credit report error is impacting you.)
“If the error remains it will continue to affect the FICO scoring on the consumer’s report in a negative manner,” Heath said.
Do I Have to Fight It Myself?
Many consumers who have gone through the dispute process and emerged unsuccessful opt to hire someone like a law firm or a credit repair company to dispute on their behalf. A good credit repair company has relationships with the bureaus and expertise on dealing with these issues that you just may not have. (You can learn more about how to pick a good credit repair company here.)
“Would you represent yourself in a complex contracts case or would you hire an attorney?” Heath said. “Credit report repair can be somewhat complex and time consuming.”
More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:
- How Do I Dispute an Error on My Credit Report?
- What’s a Bad Credit Score?
- How Credit Impacts Your Day-to-Day Life