In this article, I’ll cover how to dispute a record on your Equifax credit report, a simple template you can use to make it easy, and what to expect in the event that your score temporarily drops as mine did.
(Don’t worry, it all came back.)
Let’s start with some important resources:
- How to dispute an entry on your credit record.
- Dispute letter template.
- If you need help, try our top rated credit repair company.
I have been following a three-step 90-day credit sprint plan. I disputed an Equifax credit record and my credit score was lowered 72 points!
Luckily, a few days later I got all of my credit score points back and then some!
I want to go over my experience so that if you suddenly see your credit score sharply fall after disputing your credit history, you won’t freak out.
(Like I did… for a little while.)
Don’t Panic! Here’s what to do if an Equifax Dispute Lowers Your Credit Score.
The first step toward a credit record dispute is to review your credit records from each of the big three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax). You’ll want to locate and dispute any inaccuracies.
How To File An Equifax Dispute
There really should be a lot of thought and strategy that goes into disputing an Equifax record. You want the record to be removed the first time you file an Equifax Dispute. You will have a very difficult time having the record removed if your first dispute attempt is unsuccessful.
Be sure that you know exactly why you believe an entry is incorrect. You have a better chance of success if you have evidence.
The last thing you want to do is see a request rejected because you did not include the right information or reasons for the dispute.
Dispute Equifax Online
To dispute an Equifax record online you will need to go to their website and select ‘Dispute’.
Their dispute page should look like the image above.
You have two options on this page.
If you have already filed a dispute, you can check the status of that dispute by clicking the ‘Check A Status’ button.
If you want to start a new dispute, you can do so by clicking the ‘Submit A Dispute’ button, as seen above.
Once you select that button you will need to prove your identity by answering a series of questions that only you should know.
You may dispute a record by selecting the dispute button and explaining everything that is wrong with the record.
After you complete the security screening section you will be given access to your Equifax credit file.
Equifax must respond to your disputes within 30 days. If they find that your dispute is legitimate they must remove the record and provide you with a new copy of your credit report.
My Equifax Dispute
On March 12th, 2019, I disputed multiple records for various discrepancies with all three of the credit bureaus.
A few hours later, my Equifax Vantage Score 3.0 credit score was lowered 72 points.
You be the judge…
Due to the fair credit reporting act, anytime your credit score is lowered or raised, the credit reporting agency must tell you what factors were considered in this change.
There were 18 changes reported on my Equifax credit report for March 12th.
Two of those changes were balance decreases for my credit cards.
These are positive changes and may have even increased my credit score by a point or two if there had been no other changes found on my report.
Revolving Credit Utilization
The third change found on my report is a balance increase to my brother’s Bank of America card of $14,418.
OK, this is the problem with being an authorized user on someone else’s credit card.
Check out our article on authorized user tradelines for more on the differences between Authorized Users and Tradelines.
If the owner of the credit card charges a lot of money and then doesn’t pay it off, your revolving credit utilization will increase and your credit score will decrease.
But, would it decrease your credit score by 72 points?
I don’t think so. My FICO 8 credit score was decreased by TransUnion (6 points) and Experian (13 points) for the exact same reported activity.
The last section of reasons for my credit score decrease contains 15 remarks to my credit report as of March 12th, in the updated account information.
This is a list of all of the accounts that I disputed information within my credit report earlier that day.
If you click on the blue plus symbol next to the ‘Remark Added to Account’ there is an expanded explanation with the reason it is on the list.
The remark is the same for all 15 accounts. The reason given was ‘Consumer disputes – re-investigation in progress’.
So, to sum up…
The initial credit activities were positive and should have slightly increased my credit score.
And, the third activity that increased my revolving credit utilization should have decreased my credit score between 5-20 points.
So, why did I lose an additional 52+ points?
‘Consumer disputes – reinvestigation in progress’.
That pretty much sums it up.
Equifax Dispute Results In 96 Credit Score Point Increase
The reality is that by disputing my Equifax credit report, my credit score eventually increased by about 50 points.
For four days, I believed that disputing a credit record could seriously hurt my credit score.
My world was rocked and I didn’t understand…
Then I got an email saying that my credit score had increased by 96 points!
Can you believe it?
A one-day credit score increase of almost 100 points.
As a result of my Equifax dispute, three already closed student loan accounts were removed from my credit history that contained delinquent payment histories.
Would the removal of three old and closed accounts with negative reporting actually result in a 96 point credit increase?
I have been tracking my credit score for all three credit agencies with both FICO and VantageScore and you can see them on some really interesting comparison chart graphs by going to this article… VantageScore 3.0 VS FICO Credit Score 8 Comparison Charts.
Do not panic over sudden large credit score increases and decreases.
This is a great lesson for all of us who monitor our credit too closely…
Do not get caught up in sudden large credit score increases and decreases.
Don’t freak out if you see your credit score decrease suddenly after you dispute some records.
Give it a few days and you should see a positive result in the end.
Or visit our review of the best credit repair companies of 2020
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.