Credit Card Rights and Disputes
If you receive a product or service that you are not pleased with, you can put a stop payment on your card. If successful, the stop payment will pull the money from the merchant’s account and put it back in yours. You have to have substantial reasons for filing a dispute like this, and you must contact the seller or service person before contacting your credit card company. If that party refuses to help, you can take matters into your own hands.
To withhold a payment, contact your credit card provider and explain your situation. The company will most often have a claims department that you can go through to file a dispute and plead your case. This acts much like an informal court of law. Assuming you win the case, you will have money refunded to your account within a few business days.
Credit Report Errors
False marks on your credit reports can lead to a low score you do not deserve. When this happens, you need to file a dispute right away. You can check your credit reports for free once a year on AnnualCreditReport.com, or you can sign up for a free service that actively monitors your credit score at Credit Concierge. Make notes of any errors you see, and make sure you know which bureau it comes from (TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax). Contact that bureau by phone to note the error and see if you can get any help through the customer service department. If not, you may issue a dispute letter explaining which marks you are disputing, why you are disputing them, and what you would like done with them. They will respond accordingly.
Note that it can take up to six months for a loan to show up as paid on your credit reports. It can take three years for credit inquiries to fall off the report as well. Before you rush into filing a dispute, make sure enough time has passed for your reports to be up to date.