All American consumers have the right to dispute inaccurate, out-of-date, or mistaken information on their credit and background check reports. This vital right ensures that you are considered for financial and job opportunities fairly and that your identity is kept safe and consistent.
Sometimes, however, creditors – such as lenders, banks, and businesses – make mistakes, then provide erroneous information to the big credit bureaus. In these instances, you may need to file a 623 dispute letter. Read on to learn more about what this means and how it may affect your credit report.
Section 623 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act enables all consumers to directly dispute inaccurate information on their credit reports with the original creditors or lending organizations. Here’s a brief overview of how credit information is typically compiled:
As you can see, the big credit bureaus and other CRAs receive their information from other parties, not from you. Because of this, credit bureaus may make mistakes from time to time. But the original creditors or credit furnishers can make mistakes as well. Mistakes can include:
If left unchecked, these issues can become very serious. They can negatively affect your credit score, limiting your financial opportunities. Or they can make you lose out on other opportunities, like job prospects. In any case, it’s important to fix inaccurate or erroneous information on your credit report ASAP.
Since Section 623 of the FCRA says you have the right to dispute erroneous info with original creditors, 623 disputes necessarily focus on that activity. In a nutshell, a 623 dispute involves:
Say that you look over your credit report and discover that there is a debt listed under your name that you don’t know about. This is negatively affecting your credit report and your employment prospects.
In response, you file a 623 dispute letter with the original creditor or lender. In the letter, you state that you don’t know what the debt is and you request that the creditor validate the debt. If the creditor can’t validate the debt, you request that it be removed from your credit report quickly.
Remember, the FCRA as a whole says that you have the right to be protected from inaccurate or out-of-date information appearing on your credit report at all. If a creditor can't validate a debt or delinquency, like a loan account with a balance still on it, it must legally remove that account from its records of you at the earliest opportunity.
Through 623 disputes, you can fix erroneous information at the source. This might be necessary if you file a credit dispute letter with one of the big credit bureaus, but the bureau itself says that the information is accurate to the best of its knowledge. If you still know it’s inaccurate, you need to move up a level and contact the credit furnisher that provided the bureau with the bad info.
To use a 623 dispute letter effectively, you need to know when and how to use it in the dispute process.
Imagine that you discover out-of-date information on your credit report, like a debt that you previously paid off but which now has an inaccurate balance dragging down your credit score. Here are the steps you should follow to resolve the issue:
To recap: 623 dispute letters are filed with original creditors or credit furnishers, not the big credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies.
In any 623 dispute letter, you need to be sure to include all relevant information and be as specific as possible. With subjects as technical as consumer reports, the more detail you can provide, the better.
Assume that creditors and credit furnishers want to provide accurate information to the credit bureaus and that any mistakes are accidental rather than malicious. To that end, the more detail you give the credit furnishers, the faster they'll be able to validate their own records.
Your 623 dispute letter should include:
Again, the more information you can provide the credit furnisher, the faster the process will be. It can be difficult to know what exactly you should provide or how you should draft your letter, however.
Therefore, you should contact consumer rights attorneys right away. The right law firm, like Fair Credit, can help you draft an effective 623 dispute letter, as well as determine to who you should submit it. More than that, we'll break down your legal options if the original creditor refuses to conduct an investigation or correct inaccurate info.
Ultimately, a 623 dispute letter is a distinct legal request sent not to credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies but to original creditors. With a 623 dispute letter, you ask a creditor to double-check the accuracy of a debt or delinquency and request that the debt or delinquency be removed from your credit report if it can't be validated.
If you need help drafting or filing a 623 dispute letter, there’s no better team to ask than the knowledgeable consumer rights attorneys at Fair Credit. Our legal team can get started working on your case right away, so contact us for more information.