Credit Report Disputes And Why You Should Never Use The E-Oscar System
Credit report disputes by consumers have become increasingly necessary due to the growth of the credit information industry and the prevalence of reporting errors in the information that the credit bureaus report. Unfortunately, some seemingly authoritative credit restoration advice regarding the use of the online credit dispute system, e-oscar, has been dead wrong.
Here are just a few reasons why you should never, ever, use e-oscar in your credit repair or any other dispute-related dealings with the big three credit reporting bureaus.
What is E-Oscar?
E-OSCAR is actually an acronym that stands for Electronic Online System for Complete And Accurate Reporting. It is a browser-based online credit disputing platform that was developed by the big three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion), with the blessing of the government.
According to the E-OSCAR website
E-OSCAR is a web-based, Metro 2 compliant, automated system that enables Data Furnishers (DFs), and Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to create and respond to consumer credit history disputes.
The E-OSCAR system allows the bureaus to forward your disputes to your creditors electronically. While this system may appear at first glance to be designed for your convenience as a consumer, it is particularly important to note that this platform for processing credit report disputes is really optimized to help creditors ("data furnishers") and credit reporting agencies conduct their business.
How Filing Credit Report Disputes Online Works Against You
A little known fact about this online disputing process is that it actually limits your rights as a consumer.
For one, when you go to the websites of one of the bureaus, you can only select from a list of disputes (or dispute options) pre-determined by the credit bureaus. Remember that these same credit bureaus are not in the business of keeping your credit scores pristine.
Instead, they make billions of dollars every year reselling your personal credit information. Not only do your options get reduced to those disputes listed on credit agency websites, they are also automatically limited (behind the scenes) by the need to categorize them for forwarding to the creditors. So your dispute is reduced to a list of 2-3 digit dispute codes. So if the cause of your dispute isn't on their list, or if your dispute requires a few paragraphs to explain, you are stuck and out of luck.
Another really serious limitation with online filing of credit disputes is that you cannot attach supporting documents like canceled checks, credit card statements, etc. As if that were not limiting enough, the credit bureaus, by law, are not required to provide you with written results of their investigations when you file your disputes online.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), both the reporting agencies and the information provider (the creditor) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To make sure that your rights are accounted for in the credit dispute process, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that you tell the credit reporting company, "in writing", what information you think is inaccurate.
For these and other reasons, I always recommend to my credit repair clients and speaking audiences never, ever, file their credit report disputes online.
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"Why You Should Never Ever File Your Disputes Using the Credit Bureaus' Online Dispute System"
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