How to Dispute Something on Your TransUnion Credit Report
Is there an error on your TransUnion credit report? This step-by-step guide will tell you exactly how to dispute the inaccurate information. Image source: Getty Images.
Did you know that 1 in every 5 Americans has a mistake on their credit report, according to the Federal Trade Commission? If you're one of the unlucky ones with an error, you could be denied credit when you apply, pay more for loans, or face other problems with employer background checks, utility companies, or cell phone service providers who check your credit.
You don't want omissions or inaccuracies on your credit report to cost you career or financial opportunities or to make your loans more expensive. To avoid this, you need to keep tabs on your credit. If you spot a problem, such as inaccurate information on your TransUnion credit report, you can follow this guide to dispute the inaccurate info and get your credit report back in shape.
Obtain a copy of your TransUnion report and check for all errors
You can get a free copy of your TransUnion credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. You're entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies each year.
Save: This credit card has one of the longest intro 0% interest periods around
More: Save while you pay off debt with one of these top-rated balance transfer credit cards
You'll need to visit the website, enter your personal information, verify your identity, and select that you want the TransUnion report. Once you've downloaded your report, look through it carefully to make sure:
- Your name is correct and there aren't any aliases listed on your report that you don't use to identify yourself.
- Any addresses on your report actually are places you're associated with.
- There are no accounts on your report that don't belong to you.
- None of your accounts are reporting inaccurate information, such as late payments you didn't make.
- There are no inaccurate public records, such as judgements against you, bankruptcies, or foreclosures that don't belong to you.
Make a list of all of the inaccuracies that you wish to dispute with TransUnion.
Submit a dispute to TransUnion
Your next step is to submit a dispute to TransUnion. The easiest way to do this is to submit your dispute online. You can visit Dispute.TransUnion.com to get the process started. You'll need to either log in or create an account by providing some information including:
- Your full name
- Your current address
- Your previous address
- Your Social Security number
- Your date of birth
You'll need to choose a user name and a password, as well as entering security questions. Once you've created your account, you'll be asked a few questions to verify your identity, such as places you've previously lived.
Next, you'll be asked to agree to many parameters of the dispute, such as agreeing to be notified via email regarding the outcome of your investigation. Once you've gone through this process and clicked that you agree, you'll be taken to a screen where you can see the status of in-progress disputes or initiate a new investigation.
If you request to initiate a full investigation, you'll see a complete copy of your credit report including past addresses reported; employment data; and account information. You can click “Request an Investigation” if there's any listed accounts you believe are providing inaccurate information. You'll be asked to provide some details about what, specifically, you're disputing, and TransUnion will then begin looking into your claim of an error on your report.
You can also initiate a dispute via phone by calling 800-916-8800 or can submit your forms requesting a dispute via mail to:
TransUnion Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19016-2000
Include documents supporting your dispute
If you have documents in support of your dispute, you should include them with the information you provide to TransUnion. Some of the documents you may wish to provide include:
- Copies of your identification
- Bank statements
- Cancelled checks to provide proof of payment
- Proof, such as police reports, that accounts on your report are the result of identity theft
- Court papers including bankruptcy papers
- A letter from a lender indicating your account has been corrected or updating or verifying account status
If you are able to provide documented evidence to TransUnion to support your assertions that you have inaccurate information on your credit report, you can maximize the chances TransUnion will find in your favor and remove or correct inaccurate information on your report.
Wait for an investigation
TransUnion will conduct an investigation when you have disputed information on your credit report.
Depending upon the documentation that you provided, TransUnion may make the changes to your credit report solely based on the information you made available. In some cases, however, TransUnion will contact the business who you've claimed has reported inaccurate info.
TransUnion will provide that business with details about your dispute and give them a chance to respond. TransUnion will supply the business with the documents you've provided and ask the business to update their records accordingly if a change needs to be made.
TransUnion will then get back to you with the results of the investigation. It typically takes around 30 days for an investigation to be completed and for a decision to be made on whether the disputed information is actually inaccurate. However, TransUnion indicates you should allow between 30 days and 45 days for the investigation to be completed.
If TransUnion discovers there was an inaccuracy on your credit report in your investigation, TransUnion will update your credit report accordingly. Regardless of the results of the investigation, however, you will receive notice from TransUnion about what was decided.
Alert companies you do business with to any updates
If you've had adverse action result from inaccurate information on your credit report, such as being denied a loan or being charged a higher interest rate or higher rates on auto insurance, you should alert companies you do business with to the fact that an inaccuracy has been corrected.
The company can obtain an updated copy of your credit report and may subsequently approve you for a loan or offer better terms for doing business with you if the inaccuracy caused your score to be lower than it should've been.
Follow up with a further dispute with other credit bureaus
Unfortunately, if there was an error on your TransUnion credit report, there is a good chance you also have a mistake on your report with the other major credit reporting agencies. This means you should also check your Equifax and Experian credit reports for problems.
If you spot an error on your report from either of these two credit reporting agencies, you'll need to go through their dispute process. Fixing errors on your TransUnion report isn't going to ensure mistakes are corrected by these other agencies.
Make sure to keep tabs on your credit
Since correcting mistakes takes time, you don't want to find out there is a problem with your credit report when your credit score is checked for something important, such as a background check for a job or a mortgage loan.
Visit AnnualCreditReport.com regularly to check your credit. As soon as you notice any errors on your credit report, take swift action to get those mistakes corrected as soon as you can before they cause issues for you in your financial or professional life.
Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2024
If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR until 2024, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.
In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Our Research Expert
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.