So, you filed a dispute on your credit report, and you didn’t agree with the results. Therefore, you filed a dispute again … only this time you received the dispute-killing designation of “frivolous.”
Here’s what you need to know about what that label means and what your remaining options are.
What It Means When Your Credit Report Dispute is Deemed ‘Frivolous’
There are two cases when a credit report dispute may be deemed to be frivolous. One is that you didn’t provide sufficient information to enable the credit reporting company to investigate the dispute. Another is that your dispute is or appears to be identical to a previous dispute.
Part of the problem with credit report disputes can occur when people try to dispute correct information just because it’s negative. In those cases, they’re usually trying to get those accounts removed for a quick boost to their credit scores. It’s important to note that credit report disputes are intended only to dispute incorrect information. Negative items on your credit report must stay there for a designated period of time (although their affect on your credit scores diminishes over time).
If you’re trying to dispute a true error, however, it can be frustrating to have your claim come back as frivolous. The good news is, a frivolous dispute doesn’t have to be the end of the road. Here are more actions you can take to right the wrong on your credit report.
What to Do Next In the Case of a Frivolous Dispute
As mentioned above, one way to end up with a frivolous dispute is if it appears to be identical to a previous dispute. In that case, you could find documentation that warrants a new investigation.
The documentation you need depends on what kind of error you’re disputing. Here are a few different scenarios to consider:
Incorrect Payment History (or Other Account Details)
If it’s incorrect payment history information, financial statements can show what your payment history really was. If it’s that an account is showing up as open when it’s closed (or vice versa), financial statements on your account status can help. Both of these can usually be found online through your financial institution’s website.
You See An Account You Never Opened or Authorized
But what if an account is showing up that you’ve never opened — maybe even never heard of? In that case, you could have one of two problems: an error in your personal information that’s leading someone else’s accounts to show up on your report, or potential identity theft.
You can check on the first possibility by reviewing your personal information on your credit report. Is your name spelled correctly? How about your address and social security number? Any errors like these could be the reason you’re seeing accounts on your credit report that you didn’t open — and they can be disputed.
If your information is showing up correctly, however, and there are accounts in your name that you didn’t open, you might want to consider opening an identity theft investigation. You can report identity theft at IdentityTheft.gov.
Any Error You Felt You Proved But Went Unresolved
Finally, if it doesn’t look like an error in your personal information or identity theft, you can dispute the error with the data furnisher. You can also submit a claim to your state attorney general or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you think the credit reporting company isn’t doing their part to sufficiently resolve the error.
Your Chance to Have the Last Word
In the end, if you don’t have new documentation to provide, your personal information is correct, and you’ve not been victimized by identity theft, you might have to let the dispute rest at its frivolous designation. That doesn’t mean you can’t have the last word, though.
If you’re not happy with the results of a credit report dispute, you have the right to file a statement on that credit report. The statement would have to be 100 words or less, and you can use it to explain what information you think is incorrect and why. After you do this, anyone pulling your credit report from that credit reporting company will be able to see your statement.
Once you file this statement with your credit reporting company, the statement will remain on your credit report for two years if your statement includes activity on more than one account. If the statement just refers to information on one account, it will remain on your credit report as long as the account does.
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