Yes, you can file a credit reporting dispute online, but the question is, should you? In my opinion, no, you should not. Here’s why.
The Difference a Letter Can Make
In the age of the internet, many of us have forgotten about the power of the pen. Actual physical correspondence is still the most effective tool for filing a complaint. This is because you can easily keep a copy of the letter for your records, you can get a confirmation from the post office that the letter was delivered, and you can easily include copies of documentation proving your argument. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the credit reporting agency or creditor has a limited amount of time to respond to your dispute, so a dated confirmation that the letter was received will be important evidence later on if you have cause to file suit.
Online Forms Can Be Tricky
The three credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—all offer an online form for reporting an error on your credit report, as do many creditors. As easy and convenient as these forms are, there are also inherent problems:
- Many people don’t have access to a reliable computer. Submitting a dispute on your phone eliminates the possibility of printing out a dated copy of the dispute for your records.
- Even if you do use a computer, you may not have the technical know-how to print important screens, upload evidence, and follow the instructions correctly. This may be a particular problem for older people.
- If you are using a computer in a public place, you could accidentally share private information that leads to identity theft.
Most importantly, when you submit an online form, you are filling in their blanks and answering their questions, rather than telling them what you want them to know. Also, you may unknowingly click away your legal rights. If you agree to forced arbitration, for example, you are giving up your right to take the CRA or creditor to court if they do not comply with the FCRA. You may have simply been clicking through the steps, unaware that you agreed to terms that will hurt you in the long run.
Don’t Remember How to Write a Letter? I Can Help
Along with the resources on my website, I am happy to help you with the dispute process over the phone. Fill out the contact form on this page or call my office. My team is here to help you fix your credit report and hold the credit reporting agencies accountable to the federal laws in place to protect you, the consumer.