Disputing information on your credit report:
This method is for direct correspondence with the credit bureau. If you find anything inaccurate, incomplete, incorrect, or obsolete, you have the right to dispute that item on your credit report. This is a process that has no cost to you. It is your legal right!
The credit bureau then has a reasonable time to contact the creditor and have them verify the disputed item. A reasonable amount of time under the Federal Law has been construed to be 20 working days. Technically, if the credit bureau does not respond back within 30 days, the incorrect or inaccurate item must be removed. If, after the credit bureau investigates the item and the information is found to be inaccurate or no longer can be verified, the credit bureau must delete the item in question.
It should be noted that when a negative item is more than two or three years old, many creditors will not respond to the credit bureau because of lack of records. Some creditors even destroy this information after 18 months. Therefore, by law, if the creditor does not respond to your inquiry the bureau must remove the items from your report. Since most creditors do not have the space to retain records for a long period of time, there may not be any documentation about your payment history, or the account whatsoever. Understand also that the creditor does not have to provide documentation to the bureau of the disputed item. They simply check various boxes on the statement as to whether you were late, paid on time, etc.
To exercise your legal rights, you must aggressively challenge any bad marks or dings. If there is any information in that report that is not true, or if you want to dispute any information on it, don't be afraid to do so. If the agency is wrong on any item on your credit report or file, demand a correction.
By law, the company MUST investigate, many bureaus will even try to make the correction "on the spot!" The credit bureau will only verify the facts if you assert that they are in error. So don’t be shy. Draft a strong but polite protest for each item you want to challenge, and tell the credit bureau you are exercising your rights under the FCRA, 15 USC section 1681i