What Is a 609 Dispute Letter? (2024)

Experian, TransUnion and Equifax now offer all U.S. consumers free weekly credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com.

In this article:

  • What Is Section 609?
  • Is a 609 Dispute Letter Effective?
  • How to Correctly Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
  • Bottom Line: Save Your Money

If you've spent any amount of time on the internet looking for credit improvement tips or tricks, you've likely landed on one of the many articles dedicated to the so-called 609 Dispute Letter. A 609 Dispute Letter is often billed as a credit repair secret or legal loophole that forces the credit reporting agencies to remove certain negative information from your credit reports. And if you're willing, you can spend big bucks on templates for these magical dispute letters. Unfortunately, you'd be wasting your money on letter templates because there's no evidence suggesting they are any more effective than other credit reporting dispute letter templates.

What Is Section 609?

Section 609 refers to a section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that addresses your rights to request copies of your own credit reports and associated information that appears on your credit reports. Section 609, oddly enough, doesn't have anything to do with your right to dispute information on your credit reports or a credit reporting agency's obligations to perform investigations into your disputes. There is no such "609 Dispute Letter" anywhere to be found in the FCRA.

The FCRA does, in fact, include a considerable amount of language memorializing your rights to dispute the information found in your credit reports. But it's in section 611 of the statute, rather than in section 609. Thanks to section 611, we all enjoy the right to dispute information we believe to be incorrect or unverifiable. And if the disputed information cannot be verified or confirmed, then it must be removed.

Is a 609 Dispute Letter Effective?

If you're looking for dispute letter templates, there's likely a reason. Normally consumers send dispute letters to the main credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) because they believe something on their credit report is incorrect. This can happen if they've applied for a loan or other form of credit and the lender has informed them that they were denied because of information on their credit report. It can also happen when they check their credit report and find accounts they don't recognize. The practical impact of a dispute letter is it causes the credit reporting agency to investigate and correct any alleged error.

The 609 Dispute Letter theory is if you ask the credit bureaus for information they clearly cannot produce as part of your dispute letter, like the original signed copies of your credit applications or the cashed checks used for bill payment, then they would have to remove the disputed item because it's unverifiable. The FCRA, however, entitles us to all of the information the credit reporting agencies have in their systems—not information they do not have in their systems.

While there is plenty of information online about 609 Dispute Letters, there is no evidence suggesting any specific letter template is more effective than another. And frankly, you could submit your credit report dispute on the back of a beverage napkin and if it's valid, then the information must be corrected or removed. The method of delivery is largely irrelevant when it comes to your rights for an accurate credit report.

Conversely, if the information on your credit reports is accurate and verifiable, then chances are it's going to remain on your credit reports. The style of your letter doesn't change that fact.

How to Correctly Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

There are better ways to dispute your credit reports than buying dispute letter templates, and the process is actually very easy. First, get copies of your credit reports so you can review them for errors. You have the right to a free copy of your credit reports once every 12 months from AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also get a free credit report from Experian every 30 days.

If you determine there is information appearing on your credit report or reports that is legitimately incorrect or that you believe can no longer be verified by the source of the information, the law protects you. In those cases, you have the right to file a formal dispute. Specifically, if your Experian credit report contains any errors, you can file your dispute online, via good old-fashioned U.S. mail, or over the phone. To dispute an item on your Experian credit report by mail, print and fill out the online dispute form, which asks for information to verify your identity and allows you to note the specific items you're disputing and why you think they are incorrect. Then mail that form to Experian at P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013.

The dispute and investigation process cannot take more than 30 to 45 days, and most investigations are completed within a few weeks. Once the credit reporting agency has completed the investigation process, it is required to provide you with written results within five business days.

Bottom Line: Save Your Money

After you've filed your dispute, you can sit back and give the process a few weeks to run its course. And a final bit of good news: You can leave your credit card in your wallet because this entire process is—and has always been—free for consumers.

What Is a 609 Dispute Letter? (2024)


What Is a 609 Dispute Letter? ›

A Section 609 dispute letter allows consumers to request verification of accounts on their credit reports. If the disputed information cannot be verified within 30 to 45 days, the credit bureaus must remove it from your credit history.

Do 609 dispute letters work? ›

Bottom line. 609 dispute letters are seen as a way to help improve your credit, but they don't really do this, not directly at least. You can instead dispute inaccurate information with the help of Credit Journey or by contacting the credit bureaus directly.

What is the difference between a 609 and 604 dispute letter? ›

A 609 letter can help you verify information and identify errors on your credit report. It can also uncover “hidden” details that don't show up in your free credit report. Section 604 explains the circ*mstances in which the credit bureaus can release your credit information to various entities.

How do I get a 609 letter? ›

How to Write a 609 Letter
  1. Step 1: Get your free credit report. Before writing a 609 letter, request a free copy of your credit report online to check it for any erroneous negative items. ...
  2. Step 2: Write your 609 letter. ...
  3. Step 3: Mail your 609 letter via certified mail with a return receipt.
Aug 30, 2023

What is a 623 dispute letter? ›

A 623 dispute letter is a written communication submitted to a credit bureau, typically by a consumer, to dispute inaccuracies or discrepancies in their credit report.

What is a legal loophole to remove collections from credit report? ›

A 609 Dispute Letter is often billed as a credit repair secret or legal loophole that forces the credit reporting agencies to remove certain negative information from your credit reports.

What is the 11 word credit loophole? ›

As soon as you use the 11-word phrase “please cease and desist all calls and contact with me immediately” to stop the harassment, call us for a free consultation about what you can do to resolve your debt problems for good.

What is the best reason to put when disputing a collection? ›

You should dispute a debt if you believe you don't owe it or the information and amount is incorrect. While you can submit your dispute at any time, sending it in writing within 30 days of receiving a validation notice, which can be your initial communication with the debt collector.

What happens if you falsely dispute a credit report? ›

Filing a false credit card dispute should never be done; it is credit card fraud and can have consequences like fines, court fees, jail time, blacklisting, and hurt your credit scores.

What is the best thing to say when dispute a collection? ›

I am writing this letter to bring to your notice the following information added to my credit report. The [dispute item] along with the [creditor's name] are falsely added to my credit report without my prior knowledge. The mentioned details are incorrect and I request you to revise the report after due diligence.

Does 609 letter have to be notarized? ›

Note that your 609 letter doesn't need to be notarized. It is recommend sending the letter via certified mail through the U.S. Post Office. This way, you can receive a mail receipt confirming delivery.

How long is 609 good for? ›

Do technicians who already have a 609 Certification need to be re-certified? If a technician was certified anytime since 1991, there is no required re-certification. Their certification is good for life.

What is a 611 dispute letter? ›

611 credit dispute letter: This is how you'll ask the credit bureau to show how they verified information you are disputing. Section 611 is invoked when a credit bureau responds to your dispute and says it has verified the information.

How effective are dispute letters? ›

2) Do dispute letters work? Dispute letters are the most effective way to correct errors on your credit report. It also makes the credit bureau obligated by law to investigate your issue. Yet, a dispute letter doesn't ensure that your credit score will improve unless you have strong evidence backing your claim.

How do you write a successful dispute letter? ›

Your letter should identify each item you dispute, state the facts, explain why you dispute the information, and ask that the business that supplied the information take action to have it removed or corrected.

Is it better to write or type dispute letters? ›

Write clearly or type your complaint. If your handwriting is legible, feel free to handwrite your complaint. If it's not, type it.

Does credit dispute letters work? ›

2) Do dispute letters work? Dispute letters are the most effective way to correct errors on your credit report. It also makes the credit bureau obligated by law to investigate your issue. Yet, a dispute letter doesn't ensure that your credit score will improve unless you have strong evidence backing your claim.

Do collection dispute letters work? ›

A debt collector must stop all collection activity on a debt if you send them a written dispute about the debt, generally within 30 days after your initial communication with them. Collection activities can restart, though, after the debt collector sends verification responding to the dispute.

Is it better to hand write credit dispute letters? ›

Supposedly hand written disputes are actually read by a person and not just scanned in. However, if you already have disputed something more than once and had it come back verified your dispute can be immediately dismissed as "frivolous" no matter how you submit it.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arielle Torp

Last Updated:

Views: 5881

Rating: 4 / 5 (41 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arielle Torp

Birthday: 1997-09-20

Address: 87313 Erdman Vista, North Dustinborough, WA 37563

Phone: +97216742823598

Job: Central Technology Officer

Hobby: Taekwondo, Macrame, Foreign language learning, Kite flying, Cooking, Skiing, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Arielle Torp, I am a comfortable, kind, zealous, lovely, jolly, colorful, adventurous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.