Will Disputing Items On Credit Report Hurt My Credit Score?

If you’re like many Americans and you have uncovered an error on your credit report, you may be thinking about disputing the error to have it removed from your credit report. So, does disputing an inaccurate item on your credit report hurt your credit score? We will explain this in much detail below.

Will Disputing Items On Credit Report Hurt My Credit Score?

No, disputing any inaccurate or incorrect items on your credit report will not hurt your credit score even if the dispute is unsuccessful. That said, if the negative item that you’re disputing on your credit report is removed, the removal will raise your credit score. So, if you find an inaccurate item on your credit report, you should not hesitate to dispute it.

For example, if you disputed a collection account that does not belong to you and the dispute results in the removal of the collection account, you will see a significant boost in your credit score, especially if you had a high credit score, to begin with.

However, if the item you disputed is not removed from your credit report, you will see no change in your credit score as it will remain the same.

The same applies if you are able to successfully remove a late payment, charge off, an account settled for less than the full balance and any other derogatory mark that may appear on your credit report.

That said, removal of or correction of inaccurate information, such as the misspelling of your name or an incorrect address with neither hurt nor help your credit score because it’s not the type of information that’s factored into your credit score.

In most situations, a dispute will take 30 days to complete a dispute from the date that you filed it. Once your dispute is processed and the investigation is completed, the credit reporting bureau with witch you filed your dispute will inform you about the status of the dispute.

So, now that you know that disputing an item on your credit report will not hurt your credit score, how long does a negative item stay on your credit report.

How Long Does a Negative Item Stay On Your Credit Report?

A negative mark, such as a late payment, foreclosure, or repossession will stay on your credit report for 7 years from the date that you first became delinquent on making payments on your account. For example, if you failed to pay a credit card bill that was due on January 1st, 2022, a late payment notice will remain on your credit report until January 1st, 2029.

After 7 years, the mark will be automatically removed from your credit report. If for any reason, the negative mark is not removed after 7 years of appearing on your credit report, you should file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau reporting the negative information and asking them to remove it. After you’ve made the request, the credit reporting bureau will conduct an investigation, and if they find that the derogatory mark has expired, they will remove it from your credit report.

The best thing to ensure that a derogatory mark is not added to your credit report is to always make your credit, loan, and other bill payments on time. This ensures that you do not owe anyone money and that your credit report remains free of derogatory marks.

How to Dispute an Item on Your Credit Report?

Before disputing an item on your credit report, you need to pull all three of your credit report. You should then examine your credit reports to find any incorrect or derogatory information.

If you find negative information that is incorrect or does not belong to you, you should dispute it with the credit reporting bureau reporting the inaccurate information.

For example, if you review your Transunion credit report and you find a collection account that does not belong to you or a late payment where you were not late, you should file a dispute with Transunion.

Each of the three major credit reporting bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) offer consumers the ability to file dispute for free online.

Just follow the instructions that they’ve provided to submit your dispute.

After submitting a dispute, the credit reporting bureaus have 30 days to conduct an investigation to verify the accuracy of the information you’ve disputed.

If the credit reporting bureaus conclude that your claim is correct and the information that’s being reported is incorrect or does not belong to you, they will remove it from your credit report.

How Will the Results of Your Dispute Affect Your Credit Score?

If you have disputed a derogatory mark (negative item), such as a late payment, or collection that does not belong to you, the removal of such an item will likely result in a significant boost to your credit score, so long as no other negative information is dragging down your credit score.

However, if your dispute is not successful and the credit reporting bureau decides not to remove the derogatory information because they’ve concluded that it’s valid, there will be no impact on your credit score, meaning your credit score will not go down merely because you filed a dispute and were unsuccessful in removing the negative item from your credit report.

So, if you believe that there is inaccurate or negative information on your credit report, you will not lose anything from filing a dispute in an attempt to have it removed.

Items That Are Usually Disputed On a Person’s Credit Report

Here are some of the most commonly found errors that you can dispute on your credit report:

  • Your closed account still being reported as open
  • An account that does not belong to you being reported on your credit report
  • An account that appear as being paid late when you’ve paid on time
  • A collection account that does not belong to you appearing on your credit report
  • Incorrect information, such as the wrong name, address, or phone number on your credit report
  • The same account being listed twice on your credit report
  • Incorrect installment account or credit card balance being reported
  • Incorrect credit limit being reported
  • An account that appears on your credit report due to fraud committed by another

Will Disputing an Item on My Credit Report Work?

Disputing a valid item on your credit report is unlikely to remove it from your credit report. This is so because when you file a dispute, the credit reporting with which you filed a dispute will conduct an investigation to determine whether the item you’ve disputed is valid or invalid. If the investigators find that the information contains inaccurate or incorrect information, the item you’ve disputed will be removed from your credit report. However, if the investigation reveals that the item is indeed valid, it will remain on your credit report. Disputing an item on your credit report will not hurt your credit score. However, if you’re successful in disputing negative information, you could see a boost in your credit score.

Are You Required To Dispute an Item With All Three Credit Reporting Bureaus?

You will only need to file a dispute with the credit reporting bureau reporting the negative information. For example, if a negative item that does not belong to you appears on your Transunion Credit Report, you will only need to file a dispute with Transunion. However, if an item, for example, appears on your Transunion and Experian Credit Reports, you will need to file a dispute with both credit reporting bureaus.