Many people have experienced a rouge charge or issue with their credit report, which they dispute with credit reporting companies. It could be an account that was mistakenly added, a missed payment, or a charge that was not actually from the customer. When a customer disputes something on their credit, it starts a dispute resolution process within the credit bureau, and there are a variety of resolutions that show up on the credit report after the dispute has been resolved. A common and frustrating result of disputing a charge or account on credit is “Dispute Resolved: Customer Disagrees.” Unfortunately, this usually means that the credit reporting agency is not willing to investigate further, even though the customer disagrees that it should be removed. This article will explore what it means when this is the result of the disputed charge, how it can impact credit, and what a consumer may do to attempt to remove the dispute.
Dispute Resolved: Customer Disagrees Explained
Credit disputes are instances where consumers dispute an account on their credit report. This may be because they noticed a charge that was not theirs or found an account that was credited to their name but they do not recognize it. The dispute process allows the credit holder to provide evidence detailing the issue and ask the credit bureau to take it off the report. This causes both the credit bureau and the creditor to investigate the dispute and draw a conclusion on the true owner of the account and how it should be reported. During the investigation, the account will not factor into a credit report. Once this investigation happens, there will be two options for the resolution:
- Deletion: This result means that the disputed account will be deleted because the account was not found to be reported correctly. This account will not be factored into a credit score and will be deleted from the account.
- Consumer Disputes: This is the type of dispute comment on a credit report that can hurt a credit score and cause the credit holder to lose out on opportunities to borrow. This means that the account will be reported in credit reports with a designation that the consumer disputes the account, but it will not be deleted from the credit report. This is the type of dispute comment that most prospective creditors may want to be removed to provide credit, especially if it is on a negative account.
The dispute will typically follow a standard procedure asking for evidence from each party and then finding a resolution.
Impact on Credit:
In some instances, it will not harm you to have a dispute comment on your account. It shows the creditor that you disagree with the report of the credit. However, there are certain situations where creditors will want dispute comments removed from the account, especially if the dispute is trapped in an indefinite disputed status and is not affecting your credit score. This happens often when a credit bureau does not hear from the account holder about the account or they cannot decide, and the disputed account remains frozen off the credit report. This can be good for a credit report because it can help a score stay high, but if it is on a negative account, the eventual dispute comment removal can make the score go down dramatically. Some lenders, particularly mortgage lenders, do not want any dispute comments that can prevent the consideration of an account on a potential borrower’s report. In these situations, it is smart to be aware of your report and understand what your options and disputes are.
Understanding Disputed Accounts:
Keeping a disputed account on a report is not an easy decision. Understanding whether or not to keep the account in dispute requires some important considerations, which are listed below.
Where the Wording Came From:
The wording for disputes can come from either the creditor directly or one of the credit bureaus, or both. Knowing the difference will help ensure that the dispute wording is removed permanently. Creditors may put a dispute on an account when they receive a complaint about the account directly from the consumer. This can lead to many accounts in a consumer’s name being marked as disputes. The other way that an account can be marked as disputed is when the consumer contacts the credit bureau, such as Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. If a consumer questions any of the information about an account on the report, the bureau may mark the account as disputed. In some cases, the dispute can come from either place. Knowing where a dispute comes from will help determine which of the stops a consumer will need to take to remove the dispute.
How to Find the Disputed Accounts:
In some cases, a consumer may remember that they had disputed accounts, but not remember which ones. Other times, a consumer will need to see if any accounts on their credit report are disputed. To do this, it is important to understand how to locate the dispute wording on the report. There is no common form to mark a disputed account, and each creditor and credit bureau may do something different, which may make it difficult to identify. This will be found in the account notes on a credit report. There will often be very little if any, information about where the dispute wording comes from and if there is a resolution. Once the accounts have been identified, the next step is to decide whether to remove them or to leave them disputed.
When to Leave a Dispute:
Another important consideration is whether to try and remove the dispute wording or if it will be more beneficial to leave it on. To do this, two aspects should be considered. First, does it need to be removed for consideration for another loan? Second, will removing the dispute hurt or harm your score?
- Required: Certain loans, often mortgages, will require that certain disputes be removed from a consumer’s report. However, while some may ask that all disputes be removed, it is important to understand the distinction between what is required and what is not. If the disputed language must be removed based on the rules of the lender, then it must be removed. If it is not, then a consumer can move to the next consideration.
- Helpful: In some cases, removing a dispute from an account may be beneficial for a consumer report. This may mean that the account is positive, or it may mean that it has since been resolved and the account will be helpful toward the report. Discovering what will happen when the account is counted may be difficult, but many credit apps have simulators that can show how an account may affect the overall score.
Removing a Dispute without Harm:
Once a consumer has decided to remove dispute wording, they may begin the process. Typically, the best process will depend on where the dispute is reported; however, that information is often difficult to determine, so it is usually best to remove it from each place. The best sequence seems to be:
- Call the Creditor: A consumer should tell the creditor that they are applying for a loan and would like to stop disputing the account. They will have to agree with the balance and the payment history. After this is decided, they should follow up a few days later to verify.
- Contact the Credit Bureau: Once a consumer has obtained a report from a credit bureau, they should identify any disputed accounts and call the credit bureau to ask them to stop the dispute.
Once both the creditor and the bureau are on notice, the dispute should be removed fairly quickly. Once the dispute is removed and the credit report s reconfigured, the consumer will be free to borrow for their next large purchase and build credit for years to come.
In addition to the steps above, creditors also have the right to bring a lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if a creditor will not remove the dispute. If a customer is considering this, they should talk to a lawyer about the dispute.