How to Add a Statement to Your Credit Reports

woman with dog sitting in front of laptop

There's a lot riding on your credit report. Lenders in particular are very interested in what your credit reports say about your past history with money and credit. Unfortunately, your personal history may be a little more complicated than your credit report makes it seem, especially when it comes to missed payments and delinquent accounts.

If your request to remove an erroneous item on your credit report is denied after going through the dispute process, Section 611b of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles you to add a statement (100 words or less) to your file giving your version of the dispute. The credit bureau must normally include a summary of your statement in future reports.

If you’re thinking of telling your side of the story, here are the steps to follow:

Assess the damage

Make sure you have seen recent versions of your credit reports from all three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to determine where the offending information appears. The three bureaus are separate companies and may contain slightly different information.

You can obtain free copies of your credit reports annually by visiting

Go through the dispute process first

Make sure you have gone through the formal dispute process before adding a statement to your file(s). If you've submitted a dispute, have you waited long enough for the process to work? Adding a consumer statement should be your last resort. 

Determine if it’s worth it

While adding a statement may make a difference in some rare circumstances, don’t overestimate its influence. In fact, it will most likely go unread.

Today, most lending decisions are not made by an individual—they're made by a "credit scoring" system. A credit score is basically a statistical formula creditors use to determine your creditworthiness and adding a statement does not improve your credit score. In other words, the effort may not yield much return.  

Write your statement

Be honest and concise. For example, if you're 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.

Be sure to stick to the facts; your credit report is not a good place to bash an ex. In fact, it's very important that you choose your words carefully because they cannot be edited or deleted. 

Submit your statement

You can submit your statement to the credit bureaus by mail or online. Check each bureaus’ website for specific instructions:,, and

Looking for help understanding your credit report? Our nonprofit credit experts can help you uncover the factors impacting your score and creating a plan to strengthen your credit history.

Tagged in Understanding your credit report, Build your credit score, Financial scams

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

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.