The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guarantees the right to dispute any entry on your credit report. The credit bureau is required to investigate your dispute, inform you of the result, and delete any record that is found to be inaccurate.
That much is clear, but there’s a lot of confusion around the actual process. Much of that confusion revolves around the so-called “609 letter”.
Let’s clear that up.
What is a “609 Letter”
The term “609 letter” seems to have been created by YouTube influencers and other not-so-experts. It is meant to refer to the section of the FCRA that deals with disputes. Oddly, Section 609 of the FCRA does NOT deal with disputes, which are covered by section 611.
So technically we should call it a “611 letter”, but since everyone else calls it a “609 letter” we’ll do the same.
You will see many people advertising unique, special letter templates that they say guarantee success at getting a record removed. Some even claim that their letters will get legitimate accounts thrown off your credit report.
This isn’t true.
What Actually Happens
The first thing to understand about your letter is that no human being will ever read it. Credit bureaus receive thousands of disputes daily. All of them are automatically scanned by a system called e-OSCAR, for (Online System for Complete and Accurate Reporting).
The system will assign a dispute code and send the dispute to whoever furnished the information, usually your creditor or collection agency. If they validate the debt within the required time it will stay on your credit report. If they don’t, it will be removed.
That’s all the investigation process entails: asking the creditor to validate the account.
Why That Matters
That process means there is no point in spending money on some fancy dispute letter stuffed with legalese and threatening complaints. That actually works against you. If the letter is too long or complex the system might assign the wrong code or no code at all.
You want to keep your letter short, simple, and very clear.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can get accounts removed by demanding an original signed contract or any other document. This is simply not true.
Free Section 609 Credit Dispute Letters
These free sample template pdf letters are simple and effective. Click on any one of them to open the PDF file, although we do ask for an email.
Feel free to copy and paste them or download them.
You may change them or use them exactly as they are written.
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609 Dispute Letter That Works!
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If you write one that succeeds, please email it to us, and we may add it to our list. Just like Rochelle did here:
I used your template and I went up 44 points. Thank you!Rochelle Cooper
⚠️ Please Read Before Using This Template!
This template must be customized to fit your circumstances. You will see instructions for the information that you will need to insert. These instructions are indicated by ____ text.
Be sure that you fill in all required information and delete the ____ text before you send the letter.
Your letter will be less effective if our instructions are still visible!
Insider Tips To Help In Your Dispute
All section 609 credit dispute letters should be sent by certified mail to the credit bureau and the creditor or collection agency. It is a good idea to retain all documentation from certified mailings, correspondence, phone calls, and notes, throughout the entire process.
You can file disputes by phone or online. The National Consumer Law Center recommends using certified mail, and we agree. Certified mail gives you a written confirmation of the day your dispute was filed.
💁 If you need help along the way, we recommend our Top Rated Credit Repair Companies.
7 Most Common Errors Found In Credit Reports
According to Cento Law, a firm specializing in consumer rights advocacy:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that 76 percent of consumers who filed complaints about credit reporting stated that they had incorrect information on their credit reports.Cento Law
☝️ When you review your credit report, be sure to check every single detail very carefully. If anything is wrong, that can be grounds for you to dispute the record and have it removed.
Common Errors Found On Your Credit Report:
Be sure to check (and double-check) the following.
- Account Number
- Creditor Name
- Date Account Was Opened
- Date Account Was Charged Off
- Payment History
- Names On Account
Your letter must specify the exact reason for your dispute.
💡 A study by Consumer Reports found that 34% of credit reports had at least one error.
What To Put In Your Dispute Letter
- The Date
- Your Full Name
- Address (street, city, state, zip)
- Date of Birth
- Credit Bureau Contact Information
- Disputed Account Name
- Disputed Account Number
- Description of Error (be brief)
- Any Supporting Documentation (payment records, bank statements, court documents, etc.)
- Tell the credit bureau precisely what you want them to do (investigate, remove the record, etc.)
- Include a copy of your credit report with the error identified
- Include a copy of your driver’s license or other government-issued ID
- Include a copy of a utility bill or a bill with your name and address to serve as a second form of ID and to confirm your address.
The credit bureaus keep track of your disputes. Once you dispute the account it is much harder to dispute it again if your efforts fail. If you’re going to do it, you need to do it right!
*Respondents stayed with their credit repair company for 6 months or more.
Where to Send Your 609 Credit Dispute Letter
All three credit bureaus have a process where you can file your credit dispute by mail. Here’s where to send your 609 credit dispute letter to all three credit bureaus:
Equifax Dispute Address
Equifax Mailing Address
PO Box 7404256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
TransUnion Dispute Address
TransUnion Mailing Address:
PO Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
Experian Dispute Address
Experian Mailing Address:
PO Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
❗️ Please be aware that with all disputes, there’s a chance for a temporary credit decrease. Please see Mark’s article on how Equifax lowered his credit score by 72 points when he sent his dispute letters. (It quickly increased by 100 points)
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