Q: I have followed your advice and checked my credit reports. I noticed several items that did not look correct and followed instructions for disputing the items. It has been several weeks and I have not heard back from the credit bureaus. How long should I wait and how will I know the information has been corrected?
DebtBuster: Credit reporting agencies must reinvestigate the items you question usually within 30 days unless they consider your dispute frivolous. The credit bureau also must forward all relevant information you provide about the dispute to the information provider (the creditor or lender).
After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the credit reporting agency, it must investigate and review all relevant information provided by the agency, and report the results back to the agency. If the information provider finds the disputed information to be inaccurate, it must notify all nationwide credit reporting agencies so they can correct this information in your file.
If the disputed information cannot be verified then it must be deleted from your file. If your report contains erroneous information, the credit reporting agency must correct it.
If an item is incomplete, the agency must complete the information. For example, if your file showed that you were late making payments, but failed to show that you were no longer delinquent, the agency must show that your account is now current.
As you can see, this process can take some time but when the reinvestigation is complete, the credit reporting agency must give you the written results and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change to your report. How long should you wait. I would suggest that if you have not heard from anyone within 60 days of your dispute, start following up with both the credit bureaus and the creditors in question.
Mike “The DebtBuster” Schiano is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and book author. His show can be heard via the Web at www.inchargeradio.com. Send your personal finance questions to “Ask the DebtBuster” at firstname.lastname@example.org.