What Is a 609 Letter? | Credit.com (2024)

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  • Inaccurate, negative items on your credit report can significantly affect your credit score and impact your ability to secure credit, obtain lower interest rates, land your dream job, or even rent an apartment. This negative impact can be devastating in many ways, but it’s even worse if the harmful information isn’t accurate. Correcting these errors is one of the first steps to repairing your credit.

    Fortunately, the Fair Credit Reporting Act protects consumers. Specifically, section 609 of the FCRA gives you the authority to request detailed information about items on your credit report. If the credit reporting agencies can’t substantiate a claim on your credit report, they must remove it or correct it.

    You can request this information by sending the credit reporting agency what’s called a 609 letter. This article provides more details about what a 609 dispute letter is and how to write one.

    What Is a 609 Letter?

    A 609 letter is a formal document consumers use to request more information about account details listed on their credit reports they believe to be erroneous and to request the removal or correction of this inaccurate information.

    While section 609 of the FCRA doesn’t specifically mention 609 dispute letters, it does lay out the framework for making this request. Once the agency receives your letter, it must conduct an investigation and provide you with the requested information.

    What Is Section 609?

    Section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act outlines consumers’ protections regarding disclosures. It requires credit reporting agencies to provide consumers, upon request, with information in their report, including:

    • Details, including dates and contracts, on any opened or closed account on credit reports at the date of the request
    • A list of all parties that made hard or soft inquiries on account over a 1–2 year period
    • All source information linked to each item on the credit report

    Why Do 609 Letters Matter?

    If you find inaccurate information on your credit report, submitting a 609 letter is the first step to resolving this issue. Once a credit reporting agency receives a 609 letter, it must conduct an investigation unless it can prove the claim is frivolous. The agency has 30 days to complete this investigation but can request a 15-day extension.

    If the agency can’t provide verification for the information, it must remove it from your report or correct it. Otherwise, it must provide you with the information you requested.

    What Can’t a 609 Letter Do?

    Submitting a 609 letter doesn’t automatically remove items from your credit report. If the agency provides what it considers verifiable evidence that the account is yours, the information will remain on your account. If the agency doesn’t remove the information from your account and you still believe it’s inaccurate, you can file another dispute. Otherwise, the information will remain on your account for seven to 10 years.

    Do 609 Letters Work?

    Upon receipt of a 609 letter, the credit reporting agency must conduct a full investigation within 30-45 days. It must then provide you with written notification of its findings within 5 business days. If the agency fails to respond to your request, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

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      If the agency can’t verify the requested information, It must remove it from your credit report. In some cases, a 609 letter may be enough to prompt the removal of this information. If this doesn’t happen, you may need to file another dispute.

      How Do You Write a 609 Letter?

      The FCRA doesn’t provide a specific template for writing a 609 letter. However, there are several pieces of information you should include in your letter, such as:

      • Your full legal name
      • Your complete address
      • Your phone number
      • Statement pertaining to your 609 rights under the FCRA
      • Account name and number for any accounts in question
      • Statement requesting removal of inaccurate information
      • Attorney contact information, if applicable
      • List of enclosed documents

      Along with your letter, you should also send copies of several documents, including:

      • Your credit report with the inaccurate information highlighted
      • Your birth certificate
      • Your Social Security card
      • Your passport or state-issued driver’s license or photo ID
      • Latest tax documents with Social Security number listed
      • Mortgage statement or rental agreement with current address listed
      • Current utility bill with name and address listed

      Below is an example of a 609 letter.

      Name
      Social Security number
      Date of birth
      Address
      Phone number

      Date

      609 Dispute Letter

      Dear [credit bureau]:

      I’m writing to exercise my rights under section 609 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I’m requesting information regarding the following accounts listed on my credit report:

      Account Name: [as listed on credit report]
      Account Number: [as listed on credit report]

      Account Name: [as listed on credit report]
      Account Number: [as listed on credit report]

      According to section 609, I’m entitled to all pertinent information regarding these accounts, including the original contract with my signature. If you’re unable to find this information within the 30-day time limit, I request that you immediately remove the information from my credit report.

      As proof of my identity, I’ve included a copy of my Social Security card, birth certificate, passport, W-2, electric bill, and rental agreement. Also included is a copy of my recent credit report, with the accounts in question highlighted in yellow.

      Sincerely,

      [your signature]

      [printed name]

      Be sure to make copies of all information, including all letters and backup documents, for your records.

      Where to Send a 609 Letter

      You should mail your 609 letter and all backup documents directly to the corresponding credit reporting agency using the address listed below. If the error appears on multiple credit reports, you need to send each agency a separate letter. Due to the importance of this letter, you’ll want to go to the post office and send the letter through certified mail with a return receipt requested. This step provides proof of the date the agency received your 609 dispute letter.

      Experian
      PO Box 4500
      Allen TX 75013

      TransUnion Consumer Solutions
      PO Box 2000
      Chester PA 19016-2000

      Equifax
      PO Box 740256
      Atlanta GA 30374-0256

      How to Dispute Items on Your Credit Report

      If submitting a 609 dispute letter doesn’t prompt the credit reporting agency to remove the inaccurate information, you may need to file another dispute. To file this dispute, you must send another letter to the corresponding credit bureaus. Once the agency receives your letter, it must conduct another investigation based on the information you provide.

      How to Write a Dispute Letter

      When writing a dispute letter, be sure to clearly note what information you believe is inaccurate and provide a detailed explanation of the error. Include as much information as possible, and send copies of any backup documentation, such as account statements, proof of payments, or letters from the lender. Close the letter by requesting the prompt removal of this information.

      If the credit reporting agency still refuses to remove the information, it may be time to hire an attorney or credit repair agency to help with the process. You can also use these services if this process becomes too cumbersome or time-consuming.

      Is there inaccurate information on your credit report? Find out now.Get your free Credit Report Card today.

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