Errors on your credit report are common. Your Transunion report is no different. What do you do about it? Here’s the ultimate guide on how to dispute Transunion online.
Get Your Free Credit Report
In an earlier post, I described how getting all three credit reports for free is the important first step to credit repair. Once you have all three reports, the next step is checking those reports carefully for errors and wrong information. Remember, you have three different credit reports. One from each of the major credit reporting agencies: Transunion, Equifax, and Experian.
There is a good chance that an error may show up on one agency’s report and not the other. Therefore, it is important to note not only the wrong information, but the credit report that it appeared on.
I suggest making a chart for each report you review. You can either do it the old fashioned way or set up a page in Excel or Google Sheets. The point is, you want a one page glance that will tell you the error and the agency that reported it.
You need to dispute the error with agency that reported it. In this post we are going to cover how to dispute Transunion errors on your credit report.
Know Your Credit Rights and the FCRA Requirements
You have rights in this battle against your credit score. It’s important to know your credit rights and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requirements.
Transunion, or any other credit reporting agency, is not allowed to report inaccurate information on your credit report. Information that is inaccurate, unverifiable, or incomplete must be removed or corrected. You can find the full text of the FCRA here at the FTC’s website.
Keep these three categories in mind when you review your Transunion credit report:
Inaccurate: Is the information wrong? This applies not only to late payments, but any other information about the account that is off. Is your credit limit correct? Is the date you opened the account correct?
Unverifiable: If there is information on the report that you dispute, the reporting agency is required to investigate. If they cannot verify that the information is accurate, then it must be removed.
Incomplete: Does the report contain some, but not all, of a particular account history? Does the report not include certain accounts? Dispute incomplete information as well.
Be on the lookout for all three types of errors in your report. The law requires that any dispute you file must be investigated by the credit reporting agency unless it is a frivolous claim. Do not file frivolous claims, it will only potentially hurt you down the road.
Generally, any information that is inaccurate, unverifiable or incomplete must be removed within 30 days. Once they have corrected the action, you have a right to another free copy of your credit report to verify that the issue has been corrected.
How long do things stay on your credit report?
When you review your credit report for the first time, it might be like a blast from the past. You may have forgotten, but the credit companies don’t forget. How long do things stay on your credit report?
Once again, you have protection from the FCRA. This is also an area to check closely when you are trying to clean up your credit score. Outdated information and accounts can be removed through the dispute process.
Generally, past due and collection accounts come off of your credit report after seven years. Bankruptcy is removed after ten years.
Review your Transunion credit report and look for any negative accounts that appear on your report that fall outside of this window. Once you start the online dispute process outlined below, you will have the option to claim that the account is too old to be included on your credit report.
Check for Identity Theft
In addition to errors and outdated information, you want to check for identity theft. Regularly viewing your credit report is one of the best defenses against identity theft.
Look for accounts and other information that you do not recognize. Is there an account listed that you didn’t open? If so, it could be the result of identity theft. Check for any other information that doesn’t look familiar to you.
If you think that you may have been the victim of identity theft, you will want to take action. Check out my previous post on how to put a fraud alert on your credit report.
Either way, you need to act quickly, as identity theft can spread quickly.
How to Dispute Transunion Report Online
Now that you have reviewed your credit report, let’s show you how to dispute Transunion online. Before heading over to the online dispute center, you are going to want to make sure you are prepared to proceed.
Before You Start
List of errors: Earlier I suggested making a one page list of errors on your credit report for each company. Get your Transunion list out and have it handy.
Documentation: Once you have your list of errors, think about what proof you have that the information is inaccurate or incomplete. For example, if it’s a late payment, do you have a cancelled check? Do you have bank statements that corroborate your dispute? Be sure to spend some time thinking about this and gathering the appropriate documents and proof. You don’t want to waste a dispute because you weren’t prepared.
Personal Information: Once you start the Transunion online dispute process, you will have to verify your identity. They will ask you three questions related to data that may appear on your credit report. If you don’t have every financial detail about your life memorized, its a good idea to have access to that information so you don’t get bounced from the system.
Starting Your Online Transunion Dispute
Once you have all of your things ready, head over to the Transunion online dispute page. Once you get there, you can start the process by setting up an account in the right hand column.
During the initial setup process, you will need to verify your identity by providing personal information, such as your social security number. If you are not comfortable disclosing this information online, then read the sections below on disputing your credit report through the mail or over the phone.
Request Investigation of Credit Report Errors
Once you are logged in and setup, you will see your Transunion credit report. Scroll through your report and look for the entries that either need to be corrected or removed. Remember, these can be errors or items that are too old to be on your report.
For each entry there will be a button to click that says “Request Investigation.” Click that button to start the online dispute process.
Remember to be thorough and accurate when reviewing your report at this stage.
Transunion Investigation Details: Ownership or Accuracy
After you hit the “Request Investigation” option, you will be taken to the Investigation Details screen. This is where you will be entering the basis for your online dispute. As you see in the screenshot, there are two columns.
These two columns represent the two types of disputes you can file:
Ownership: If you are disputing ownership, you are saying that the account in question is not yours or that you are not liable for the account. This would include:
- I have no knowledge of the account.
- It belongs to a relative.
- I’m no longer liable for the account.
- I’m not liable due to divorce decree.
- The creditor agreed to remove my liability from this account.
- I was the victim of identity theft.
Remember, only select one of theses options if it actually applies to your situation. You may only select one of the ownership reasons.
Accuracy: These are reasons for dispute based on late payment and other issues. You may only select two of these:
- Balance is incorrect.
- I have never made a late payment.
- Insurance paid the account late.
- Statement not received due to change of address
- Account is included in bankruptcy.
- The account is not closed.
- The account is too old to stay on credit report.
- Terms of the account are incorrect
- Creditor agreed to remove charges and/or fees.
- Charges were fraudulent.
- This account is settled
- Account has been transferred to another lender.
- Account was closed by consumer
- This report contains multiple inaccuracies
- I was a victim of a natural disaster
- I have active duty military status.
- Account is deferred.
- Credit limit or high balance is incorrect.
- Contract has been cancelled.
- Account is involved in litigation.
You can only select two of these reasons. Again, only choose options that apply to your circumstance. If you have outdated information on your credit report, this is the place to dispute it.
If you don’t see an option that matches your credit dispute, there is a link on the page to download a dispute form to fill out. There is also space at the bottom of the section to add additional comments. Use this space to add any additional information on your Transunion dispute.
Uploading Documents to Support your Transunion Online Dispute
After you have checked the reasons for your dispute, you will go to a summary page. There you can upload additional information. The maximum file size you can submit is 2.5 megabytes. The files must be in .jpeg, .tif or .pdf.
When you are done entering your information, submit the dispute.
How to Check your Transunion Dispute Status
Once you have submitted your online dispute, you will receive an email from Transunion Customer Relations. It will confirm receipt of your dispute and they will give you a file number. That file number will be important when you check your Transunion dispute status.
The email contains a link back to the online dispute portal, or you can click on the file number in your email and it will take you there.
Once the investigation is completed, they will send you a response. If the error was corrected, you have the right to have another copy of your credit report for free so you can verify the correction.
Transunion reports that they only update the status of their investigations once a day. The investigation should be completed within 30 days.
Once you get to the dispute page, you will need to log in to check the status.
Transunion Dispute by Mail and Phone
Filing your dispute online is convenient. However, you can also file your Transunion dispute by mail. If you do, you need to include your basic information such as your name, social security number, and current address.
For your dispute, you need to include:
- The name of the company that the disputed item is from.
- Your account number with that item
- Reason for the dispute
- Corrections to any of your personal information
You can also file a dispute over the phone. You will need to already have a copy of your credit report handy for reference. I am not a fan of filing disputes over the phone. I think its important to have things in writing, either digitally or the old fashioned way when it comes to disputing your credit report.
Contact Transunion to get the current phone number or address for mailing in credit report disputes.
Pros and Cons of the Transunion Online Dispute Process
One of the advantages of the Transunion online dispute process is convenience. You can set up an account, view your credit report and file your dispute in one sitting. You also save time and the expense of mailing documents.
On the downside, you are limited in your choices for the reasons for your dispute. You are also given limited space for additional comments. The site also limits the size of the file uploaded for supporting documentation.
If you are planning a long fight, you might be better off filing your dispute through the mail. In that case, you can send your dispute via certified mail and have documentation of the date they received the dispute, independent of their confirmation system.
However, for most people the speed and convenience of the online dispute will outweigh the paper option.
Getting your credit report and making sure it is accurate is one of the most important steps in rebuilding your credit. It’s hard enough to repair your credit without being penalized for inaccurate information. Fortunately, you have tools available to help you fix your credit.
Credit Repair Judo is about learning how to use those tools. It is also about taking action and getting started on the road to recovery. If you have errors on your Transunion credit report, you need to dispute those errors.
Get into action!
Have you started your credit report disputes? What’s your experience so far? Leave a comment, we love to hear from you!