We and other consumer advocates have long advised consumers to send disputes to the credit reporting agencies by mail rather than using the agencies’ online option. The main reason for using old-fashioned mail was that there was no way to send in documents to the agencies to show the consumer is right and the reports are wrong. Now, however, the bureaus online systems allow consumers the ability to upload documents, such as documents showing proof of payment.
Consumers understandably like the online option because it is easier and faster. There is still a downside to online disputes even if the consumer sends in supporting documents and that is the lack of a paper trail. This problem may be avoided by preparing a detailed dispute letter and upload it along with any documents. In case your dispute doesn’t get immediate results, you should save copies of your dispute letter, documents, and the agencies’ response.
The NY Times covers this subject in an article in its Personal Business section.