Anytime you complete the required dispute investigation forms supplied by the credit bureaus (either online or mailing in forms), you must check off at least one box on the form indicating exactly what information you think is wrong.
For example, if you find a certain account listed on your credit report that doesn’t belong to you, you would dispute the ownership of such an account and check off a box such as:
- This account does not belong to me.
- I have no knowledge of this account.
- This is not my account; it belongs to a relative or another person with same/similar name.
If you want the credit bureaus to fix the “Account Information” or “Status” of something in your credit reports, you would check off any number of boxes, such as:
- My account balance is incorrect.
- I have never paid late.
- I have paid this account in full.
- Too old to be on file, please remove.
There may be slight differences in how the bureaus word these phrases. But in general, these are the types of statements you will encounter when you dispute either the "Ownership" or "Account Status" information that is listed in your credit files with Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Don't Make "Frivolous" Disputes
It's best to dispute errors one at a time — because contesting a slew of alleged mistakes all at once may cause your dispute(s) to be thrown out.
By law, the credit bureaus can opt not to investigate your claims if they deem your dispute(s) to be "frivolous" or "irrelevant." This is one reason why many people using certain "credit repair" services find that they don't work as well as intended.