TransUnion is one of three major U.S. credit reporting bureaus, each of which is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition to other consumer credit fairness and privacy provisions, the FCRA regulates the types of credit-related financial information (or “trade lines”) a reporting agency like TransUnion can use to calculate a consumer's credit score or disclose in a consumer's credit report. By monitoring one's own credit, the consumer is empowered to ensure proper reporting of their financial information and to take swift action to remove or correct any information that is inaccurate or outside the FCRA's permissible reporting guidelines.
In addition to governing the types of reportable information, the FCRA places limitations on the time periods within which different types adverse trade lines may be reported. While positive information may remain on a personal credit report indefinitely, there is a statutory limit to how long an agency may report a negative—or potentially negative—trade line. Depending on the type of trade line, the statutory reporting limit is either 2 years (credit history requests), 7 years (missed payments; most public record items, such as court judgments; chapter 13 bankruptcy), or 10 years (paid closed accounts; chapters 7, 11 and 12 bankruptcies).
When a consumer discovers an erroneous or outdated trade line on their TransUnion credit report, they can notify TransUnion and request removal or correction of the trade line by filing an official dispute. As with other reporting agencies, it is free to file a dispute with TransUnion. Consumers with questions about the dispute process or who wonder whether a particular trade line is disputable can speak with a TransUnion agent at (800)-916-8800 between 8am and 11pm EST.
A dispute may be filed online or by mailing a letter detailing the nature of the dispute and containing the following information: full name, date of birth, tax ID (SSN or ITIN), phone number, and current address. The following sample letter includes the TransUnion dispute mailing address:
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Date: January 1, 2019
Re: Credit Report Dispute
Name: John Doe
Social Security Number: XXX-XX-XXXX
Date of Birth: 1/2/1900
Current Mailing Address: 123 Main Street, Faralon CA 94XXX
Previous Mailing Address (if applicable): 456 Old Street, Faralon CA 94XXX
The following TransUnion report trade line is hereby disputed:
Trade Line Reference # 55555555 – Judgment filed 11/10/2010 by Jane Jones; $500.00: This judgment was entered in an action against Business, Inc., not against me personally. The action was dismissed, with prejudice, as to me, Mr. John Doe, on January 30, 2009 prior entry of judgment against any party. A true and correct copy of the order dismissing me from the case is included herewith. As such, this judgment is erroneously reported and must be removed.
John Doe, Consumer
Upon receiving a consumer dispute, TransUnion will either contact the creditor for verification or change the information directly if it does not require verification. If a creditor verifies the disputed information, the requested modification or deletion will be made. No change will be made, however, if a creditor refutes the consumer's claim. In either case, TransUnion will notify the consumer of the outcome of the investigation and—if the dispute is successful and an update is made—provide the consumer with a copy of their updated credit report.
The verification process, including credit report updating, if warranted, is completed within 30 days.