The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, or the FCRA for short, is a federal consumer protection law that was created to ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of the information in their credit files. One of the most powerful tools provided by the FCRA is the 611 Dispute Letter, which is the primary tool used to challenge errors and inaccuracies on your consumer credit report.
We’re going to take a close look at the 611 Dispute Letter and break down the specific steps you need to create one for your disputes. We’ll even provide you with a sample template that you can use, by simply filling in the information pertinent to your dispute.
Under Section 611 of the FCRA, consumers are afforded the right to dispute any incomplete or inaccurate information on their credit reports. A 611 Dispute Letter is a written communication that you can physically send to a creditor or any of the 3 credit reporting bureaus. By law, these disputes must each be given an appropriate level of investigation in an attempt to confirm their legitimacy.
Once a dispute is received, it must be investigated and decided upon within 30 days. This time frame is critical for the dispute process because if the information cannot be verified, or corrected, the agency must delete the disputed information by the end of those 30 days.
Inaccurate or erroneous information that shows up on your credit report can lead to lower overall credit scores, which results in higher interest rates on loans or lines of credit that you’re approved for, but it can lead to denials as well.
You can end up being denied a wide range of financial products, like credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages, but you can lose out on apartments and even jobs due to the background check that either one may run on you.
It’s critical to personally review your credit report periodically, so that any errors or inaccuracies that come up can be addressed as early as possible, and potential solutions reached.
A well-crafted 611 Dispute Letter can help you improve your credit score, prevent identity theft and lower the risk of fraud, ensure you get treated fairly by those with access to your credit report, and increase your chances of being approved for financial products like loans, credit cards, and more.
Here are the steps you need to take to use a 611 Dispute Letter to resolve credit report inaccuracies.
Get a copy of your most current credit reports from all 3 major bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can get a free copy every 12 months through the official Annual Credit Report site.
Once you have your reports, check every item for accuracy and legitimacy. Look for errors of all types, like typos, wrong names, addresses, wrong or duplicate accounts, and more. Make a note of each one.
For each error, you’ll need to gather documentation that supports your dispute. This evidence can be things like identification documents, statements, receipts, and much more.
When you create a 611 letter, you’ll need to be clear and concise. Be sure to include all of the following:
Mail your dispute letter to the appropriate location. Be sure you use certified mail with a return receipt so that you can ensure it’s delivered and have proof of such.
The agency will have 30 days from the date the dispute is filed, to act on it. Be sure you monitor your credit report the following month to ensure it has been addressed.
If you do not see the item addressed within 30 days, follow up with the bureau and ensure that they give it the appropriate attention.
Your Full Name
City, State, Zip Code
Credit Reporting Agency Name
Credit Reporting Agency Address
City, State, Zip Code
Re: 611 Dispute Letter – Inaccurate Information on Credit Report
Dear Credit Reporting Agency,
I am writing to dispute the following information on my credit report, which I believe to be inaccurate and in violation of my rights under Section 611 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Please find the specific inaccuracies detailed below:
Item to be disputed: Description of the error or inaccuracy
Reason for dispute: Explanation of why this information is incorrect
Desired action: Correction, update, or deletion of the disputed information
[Repeat for each error or inaccuracy]
I have attached copies of supporting documents that substantiate my claim(s), including a list of relevant documents, such as bank statements, payment records, or identity theft reports. Please note that these documents are for your reference only and should not be shared with unauthorized parties.
I kindly request that you investigate my dispute promptly and either verify, correct or delete the disputed information from my credit report within 30 days, as required by the FCRA. Additionally, I ask that you provide me with written confirmation of the changes made to my credit report.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to a swift resolution that reflects the accuracy and fairness of my credit information.
Your Full Name
[Your Signature, if sending via postal mail]
While the established dispute process is generally all you need to do, there are some cases when it just seems like it’s not working, or like the credit agency simply isn’t investigating them all the way. If you’ve been going through the dispute process and aren’t seeing the disputed inaccuracies being removed or corrected, you may need to take legal action.
Partnering with Fair Credit is the best way to get a legal advocate who can get your credit report errors resolved. If you’ve suffered damages as a result of the inaccuracies, you may also be entitled to compensation for those damages. Reach out today to get started.