Adding a statement to your file

If your request to remove an erroneous item on your credit report is denied after going through the dispute process, the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the ability add a statement in 100 words or less to your file giving your version of the dispute. (Note to Twitterers: this is 100 words, not 100 characters!)

Although they are not required to do so, the credit bureau will typically include your statement in future reports. For example, if you are divorced and have a defaulted loan on your credit report that was supposed to be paid by your spouse, briefly describe the situation along with any facts that support your claim that the problem was not your fault. Please stick to the facts; your credit report is not a good place to bash an ex.

If your application is a close call between approval and denial, this statement could make the difference—assuming someone will read it. It is important to understand that if you have a written statement on your report, a computer can’t read it. Also, a statement could slow things up. For example, if you apply for instant credit while at a store, your response won’t be instantaneous.

Following is an example of a written request to add a statement to a credit bureau file:

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.