Best Practices for Mailing Dispute Letters to Credit Bureaus
Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax receive thousands of dispute letters every day. They use an automated process that scans the incoming envelopes, removes the enclosed documents, scans the pages, and then routes them to the appropriate department. Many details can trigger this process to disqualify a dispute letter. Follow these tips to avoid some of the most common mistakes:
What kind of envelope should I use to send a dispute letter?
Use a closed-face envelope. Windowed envelopes will alert the bureau that you are likely working with a credit repair company. Credit bureaus prefer to receive disputes directly from the consumer and may deny disputes sent by a credit repair company on your behalf. If the credit repair company you are working with is worth their salt, they will know how to prepare and send the letters to ensure that the credit bureaus send responses directly back to you.
What return address should I use for a dispute letter?
If you are working with a credit repair company, ensure that the return address is your personal address and not the credit repair company’s address. The wrong address will alert a bureau to deny the dispute before the envelope is even opened.
What should I put in my dispute letter?
- The date you will mail the letter
- The credit bureau’s full mailing address
- Your information, including full name and address, date of birth, and the relevant account name and/or credit report number
- The name of the creditor or collection agency that made the error
- Your reason for submitting the dispute (e.g. identity theft, fraud, typos, miscalculations)
- Supporting documentation relevant to each dispute, such as proof of address, proof of identity, payment receipts, bank statements, and the credit report itself with each disputed item circled or highlighted.
Should I print the dispute letter in a specific format?
Avoid printing on both sides. Assume that your enclosed documents will be removed and processed automatically, and that the back side of the pages will not be scanned. If only part of the information is scanned, the credit bureau may not see all the data needed to fix an error on your report. This could result in your dispute being denied.
Should I make copies of the dispute letter’s contents?
Always send copies of your supporting documents, never the originals. Keep the originals on file until the dispute is resolved. It also can’t hurt to make a copy of the addressed and stamped envelope before you mail it.
Nothing happens quickly with credit reporting agencies or with creditors. Once you have mailed your dispute letter, the credit bureaus legally have 30 days to send you a response.
If you don’t have the means to print and mail your own letters, you should check out Postalocity.com. Our online portal allows you to upload a PDF file containing your dispute letter and its supporting documents to send in the mail using USPS first-class postage or USPS Certified “return receipt requested” service. Postalocity uses a proprietary closed-faced envelope and gives you full control over your letter’s return address. We are completely invisible to the recipient. It’s fast, easy, cheap, and in the case of dispute letters, very effective.