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.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.