A key step in repairing your credit is reviewing your credit report for inaccurate or outdated information — and then disputing it. By removing old accounts and correcting issues such as a wrong Social Security Number or incorrect credit limit, you can quickly clean up your credit file and potentially boost your credit score.

How to Dispute Inaccurate or Outdated Information on Your Credit Report

You can file disputes online with each of the three credit bureaus: TransUnion®, Equifax®, and Experian™. While reviewing each section of your credit report, keep an eye out for inaccuracies such as:

  • Incorrect name or Social Security Number
  • Addresses where you never lived appearing on your report
  • Employers for whom you never worked appearing on your report
  • Incorrect credit limits or balances
  • Incorrect loan amounts
  • Accounts, collections records, or public records that are not yours
  • Accounts, collections records, or public records that are older than seven years and can be removed from your file

You’ll need to create a free account in order to submit your dispute online. When you set up your accounts, double check that you’ve entered your information correctly as the bureau may need to get in touch with you to request more information about your claim.

Once you’ve created your accounts, here’s what the process will look like:


  1. Log in or create an account to start a dispute. You can initiate a dispute online through Equifax’s dispute page.
  2. Verify your personal information. The first section you’ll review are your personal details, including current and past addresses.
  3. Review each account on your credit report. Equifax allows you to filter your account by negative information so you can focus your attention on adverse data. But remember to review your entire report to ensure everything is correct.
  4. Review hard inquiries. Equifax is the only credit bureau that allows you to contest hard inquiries online.  These are a record of when your credit report what provided in response to a credit application.  Dispute these if you didn’t apply for credit indicated. You can choose from three reasons for disputing an inquiry: “Not mine,” “I did not authorize this inquiry,” and “This is a fraudulent inquiry.” Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score, and Equifax does not allow you to dispute those.
  5. Look for updates on your dispute. Equifax will send you emails or update your online account as your dispute is moved through the resolution process.


  1. Initiate online dispute. Visit TransUnion’s dispute page and click “Start Dispute” to begin.  You can log into your TransUnion account first or create one during the dispute process.
  2. Check your report section by section. The TransUnion site will guide you through the different elements of your report, and you can flag inaccuracies as you go. You’ll have a chance to add more disputes before submitting if you missed any on first glance.
  3. Submit your report. Be sure to include any items you want to dispute now because you won’t be able to add or modify your claim until the current submission is resolved. The resolution process takes up to 30 days.
  4. Review hard inquiries.  These are a record of when your credit report what provided in response to a credit application.  If any inquiries are not yours, you'll need to dispute them in writing.  You can find details provided by TransUnion here.  
  5. Look for updates in the coming weeks. TransUnion will send you updates through email or your online account as they review your disputes.



  1. Log into your account. Once you’ve logged in, scroll over the “Credit Support” tab and click “Disputes” from the dropdown menu. Then click “Start a new dispute online.” If you haven’t created an account yet, you can click “Start a new dispute online” through the dispute page and you’ll be guided to create an account before submitting your claims.
  2. Review all of the items on your report. You’ll get to see your personal information, including current and past addresses and employers, as well as financial account data. This is your chance to mark any inaccuracies.
  3. Submit your dispute claims. After you’ve reviewed your entire report, you can submit your claims.
  4. Review hard inquiries.  There are a record of whe your credit report was provided in response to a credit application.  If any inquiries are not yours, you'll need to dispute.  Experian prefers to handle disputed inquiries over the phone and you can find information about this in the dispute center above.  Experian also has some information on their website.
  5. Check your email and online account for updates. Experian will send you emails and also post updates to your online account as they process your dispute claim.

Respond to dispute denials, if needed

If a credit bureau dismisses your dispute because they don’t have enough information from you to make a judgment, they must tell you what data or documents they would need to process the claim. At that point, you can submit a copy of the supporting paperwork so they can revisit the claim.

In the event that the bureau does not remove the disputed information from your report, you can request that they keep the dispute on your file so that future lenders can see that you asked for the conflicting data to be removed and why.


The content provided on Elevate.com is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute financial or legal advice.  It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.  Elevate is not acting as a credit counseling or repair service, debt consolidation service, or credit services organization in providing this content.  Elevate makes no representations about the reliability or suitability of the information provided – any action you take based on this content is at your own risk.