Avoiding Frivolous Credit Disputes
Avoiding frivolous credit disputes is one way to ensure that you give yourself the best chance to get a favorable response from the credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives consumers the right to dispute inaccurate and outdated information directly with creditors, and with the credit reporting agencies. However, the FCRA also gives the bureaus an "escape" as well if the dispute can be proven to be "frivolous and irrelevant".
This means that if the credit agencies can reasonably label your complaint as "frivolous and irrelevant" they can simply ignore it without consequence. How's that for consumer protection?
It is up to you to make sure that you do not make any of the common mistakes that can lead to your credit report dispute being labeled in this way. Here are some examples of practices that can be regarded as "frivolous" or "irrelevant":
Disputing All Negatives
Stay away from any credit repair "specialists" who recommend you arbitrarily dispute all negative items on your credit report. This is not a way of avoiding frivolous credit disputers. It is a mistake and makes it all too easy for the credit agency to ignore your correspondence.
Disputes Without Documentation Or Evidence
Make sure to include all the relevant documentation needed to make your case. The big three credit bureaus encourage consumers to use their electronic online system (e-oscar) for filing credit disputes. However, because you cannot attach your documents when filing through e-oscar, I recommend you avoid using the e-oscar system.
Bombardment with Formulaic (Generic) Credit Dispute Letters
Amateurish credit repair efforts often backfire because the reporting bureaus get bombarded with generic credit dispute letters that seem to be printed off the internet and mailed off in predetermined intervals without regard to the individual situation of the consumer. Using these sorts of methods could also get your disputes labeled as "frivolous". and is not a way of avoiding frivolous credit disputes.
Challenging Negative Items Based on Hardship
Unlike a loan modification or short sale process, using hardship or difficult circumstance as the basis of your credit dispute is not a good idea. Credit disputes on the basis of errors in reporting, inaccuracies or out of date information have a much better chance of success.
Request from Credit Repair Organization Rather Than You
Your correspondence to the credit bureaus (or the credit information provider) should be from you, and not from a credit repair company. Regardless of whether or not you are working with an organization that handles legal credit repair, your disputes should come from you.
Duplicating a Dispute Reason
Try to avoid using the same dispute reason (or dispute code) if you have been rejected previously. You could easily get hit with the "frivolous and irrelevant" label if you use the same reasons over and over again when trying to get credit report errors removed.
Even legal credit repair organizations can lead you into one or more of these traps if they do not have the proper expertise to guide you through the process. By familiarizing yourself with the mistakes above, you give yourself the best chance to improve your credit scores by having your disputes acknowledged.
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