At some point, you may discover a discrepancy on your credit report. You can contact a number of parties to attempt to resolve the matter and get your report updated.


Contact the creditor

It’s best to contact the creditor first since they provide updates to the bureaus. If the creditor confirms that they’re responsible for reporting the error, the creditor is required to provide the bureau with the correct information.


If the creditor feels that they’re not responsible for the error, they will typically refer you to the correct party, which is normally the credit bureau. 


In some cases, though, the discrepancy that you’ve noticed on your report is due to the fact that your report just hasn’t been updated yet, either because the creditor hasn’t submitted the update or because the bureau hasn’t processed the update. In these two cases, it’s suggested that you give the creditor and bureau the allotted time to update your records. If your info isn’t updated within 30 days of when the creditor stated that they submitted your data to the bureau, you should contact the bureau. 


File a dispute with the credit bureau

If the creditor is unable or unwilling to resolve the issue, or if they tell you that they’re not responsible for error, your next step would be to contact the credit bureau that’s reporting the inaccurate information. You can submit disputes to the bureaus online, by phone, or through mail. They will then investigate and allow the creditor 30 days to provide a response. In some cases, the bureau will allow you to provide documentation (like a statement providing proof of payment), and if the bureau finds that your proof supports your claim, they will update your credit file. The bureau will generally provide you with the option to receive the results of the investigation online or via mail. You might also be able to call to receive an update on the investigation. 


Sometimes, contacting the credit bureau does not result in your report being updated as you had hoped. This could be the result of miscommunication during the investigation. Typically, the bureau’s decision will come with instructions on who to contact if you disagree with their decision. The bureau will likely direct you back to them or the creditor, which may feel frustrating. But, if you’re unsatisfied with the bureau’s decision and believe that there may have been miscommunication in the investigation, it’s best to follow the bureau’s guidance and reach out to the recommended party. If the matter is still not resolved after that, contact the bureau at least one more time before escalating the matter to other parties.


File a complaint with the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Per the CFPB’s site, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.” They investigate complaints brought against financial institutions, and credit reporting inaccuracies is just one of the matters that you can submit a complaint about. The CFPB accepts complaints online or via phone. The party that you’re complaining about is required to respond and the response time is generally within 15 days.


To submit a complaint to the CFPB, visit or call them at 855-411-2372 (TTY/TTD: 855-729-2372). They’re available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays). 


Unresolved complaints and disputes

After contacting either the creditor, credit bureau, or CFPB, you will hopefully obtain a favorable resolution. This is not always the case, though. You always have the option of contacting all parties again. The CFPB, however, does not allow resubmission of the same claim. They may provide guidance on how to proceed, which may include contacting the financial institution or credit bureau again. You also have the option of seeking counsel.