According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act once the credit bureau receives your dispute letter they are obligated to perform an investigation and all consumers’ disputes must be resolved by the credit reporting agencies within 30 days ( It may take up to 60 days to receive an updated credit report from the day you send the bureaus a dispute letter) .
In other words, Credit Bureaus have thirty (30) days to investigate your request to verify and make changes on your Credit Report, inform you in writing of their investigation results within five (5) days of its completion and send you a copy of your updated Credit Report (if it was requested).
The credit bureau will send you a written notices of the results of disputed items. The letter will list the item that was disputed, description of the item like the account number or reference number, and will shows the results – whether it was DELETED, CORRECTED, ADJUSTED, VERIFIED or if there is more information listed below.
Please remember that when you receive updated credit reports, keep the original reports for your records and review the accounts that you have disputed so you will need to determine which items are still remaining on your credit and dispute them again if you believe it should not be there or have to be corrected.
Consumers reported that sometimes a creditor may claim that they can’t find an account without more information or that the dispute is incomplete. These letters request a copy of your recent utility bill, a complete account number, or even a copy of your credit report. However, creditors should be able to access your accounts with just a name, social security number and an address that you provided on your dispute letter. In any case please make a copy of this letter, and respond to the credit bureaus directly.
Also consumers reported that sometimes credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) might send out a letter that requests that you verify your identity before THEY will process the request. They use this stall tactic in the name of “keeping your information secure” or “preventing identity theft.” If you get this letter, don’t be concerned! Simply send the information they requested, and they should proceed with the dispute.
Another letter consumers reported receiving is a request to send legal documents such as court papers, letters from creditors, etc.
You don’t need much documentation to dispute a questionable item on your report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1996 puts the burden of proof on the shoulders of the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and your creditors. The consumers do not have to prove their dispute, so documentation is not legally required to challenge items on your credit reports with the credit bureaus.
Also consumers reported that they often encourage to write a Consumer Statement of 100 words or less and send it to them.
A potential creditor will probably never read it, since they are interested more in your credit score and not your personal explanation!