What Is a 609 Dispute Letter? - Slimmer Payments

What Is a 609 Dispute Letter?

If you’ve ever searched online for tips on how to improve your credit, you’ve probably seen one or two articles about a 609 Dispute Letter. A 609 Dispute Letter is often referred to as a credit repair secret that forces the credit reporting agency’s hand to remove certain negative marks from your credit reports. There are websites that let you shill out your hard-earned dough for templates for these miraculous dispute letters. However, you’d likely be throwing your money away on a template, since there’s no evidence to support that they are any more effective than other dispute templates.

What is Section 609?

Section 609 is a section of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that addresses your rights to request copies of your own credit reports and associated information that appears on your credit reports. Contrary to what you might think, Section 609 doesn’t have anything to do with your right to dispute information on your credit reports.

According to Experian: “The FCRA does, in fact, include a considerable amount of language memorializing your rights to dispute the information found in your credit reports. But it’s in section 611 of the statute, rather than in section 609. Thanks to section 611, we all enjoy the right to dispute information we believe to be incorrect or unverifiable. And if the disputed information cannot be verified or confirmed, then it must be removed.”

Does a 609 Dispute Letter Work?

The idea behind sending a 609 Dispute Letter is that if you ask the credit bureaus for information they clearly cannot produce as part of your dispute letter, like the original signed copies of your credit applications or the cashed checks used for bill payment, then they would have to remove the disputed item because it’s unverifiable.

While there is plenty of information online about 609 Dispute Letters, there is no evidence suggesting any specific letter template is more effective than another. Experts say that you could submit your dispute on the back of a McDonald’s napkin and if it’s valid, then the information must be corrected or removed. The method of delivery is largely irrelevant when it comes to your rights for an accurate credit report.

Keep in mind, however, if the information on your credit reports is accurate and verifiable, then chances are it’s going to remain on your credit reports.

There are other ways to dispute inaccuracies and remove negative items beside sending a 609 letter. You can get a free annual copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus, and follow the process to correctly dispute any inaccuracies you find. 

Bottom Line

Don’t spend your money on a template for a specific letter that doesn’t necessarily provide any extra advantage. Diligently review your annual free credit report, and submit your dispute if you find anything that’s inaccurate.

Once you file a dispute, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the process to complete.

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