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Statements of Excuse or Dispute on Credit Reports

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Did you know that you can leave a personal statement on you credit report? I had no idea until a reader emailed me asking how one goes about doing that. After digging on Google (briefly, because Google is awesome), I discovered an Ask Max (Maxine Sweet, Experian’s VP of Public Affairs) column where she discusses the types of statements you can add to your account. Essentially her advice is that she recommends against adding a statement.

There are two types of statements: account specific and general. Account specific statements are deleted when the account itself is removed. General statements, which can cover large periods or your report as a whole, will stick around for two years. What this means is that a negative item(s) could be removed, your report appear clean, but the general statement still remains cluing creditors in on a possibly checkered past. That’s why she recommends against leaving a statement.

With account specific statements, they basically come in two forms: statements of excuse and statements of dispute. They are exactly what they sound like – statements of excuse are left when you know you messed up but you want to give a reason and statements of dispute are left when you don’t agree with the creditor’s report. The only ones that seem to have a positive side to them are statements of dispute because a new creditor may just ask for some documentation about the disputed account and you can give them your account. This is obviously for cases where you have tried to dispute the record but the reporting agency (or the creditor) disagreed with you and refused to remove the account (or the “error”) on their own.

via Experian’s Ask Max column.

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7 Responses to “Statements of Excuse or Dispute on Credit Reports”

  1. Nick says:

    I wish I could leave a Statement of How Awesome I Am, So Please Give Me Credit.

  2. jim says:

    Except no one would believe you.

  3. Cap says:

    everything I’ve read or heard about making a personal statement on your credit report seems to imply that it’ll do absolutely nothing in the eyes of creditors.

    you can explain away your collection all you want, but if you have one.. they’re gonna count it against you. you can try to make a note about identity theft that hasn’t been resolve yet (hence the new 50 new accounts), they’re gonna count it against you.

    supposedly you should just leave it blank, because if anything it’ll do more harm than good.

  4. CK says:

    It’s pretty worthless considering the rampant use of credit scores.

  5. John Wilks says:

    “Correction. FICO score is actually 950. No really it is…”

    • Rich says:

      John, Did you write 950!! What credit reporting agency was this?…..I didn’t know they went that high. My dad has been a “double payment type guy “, and he dosen’t even have that kind of credit score!!

  6. Mark says:

    I have great credit with a score of 762 but I’ve been turned down for a credit twice because of a small unpaid credit card amount. I also have over $400,000.00 in one of the above banks and an open credit line of $399,000.00 with a zero balance. Just doesn’t figure does it. I’ve tried on several occasions to put a specific personal statement disputing that I owe it (I already did the typical dispute but they sided with the Bank) but it’s never happened. I just tried doing it online but they only give you a half dozen pre-written “statements” of which none applies. I submitted my statement via US Mail and that doesn’t do a thing. Can anybody help me?


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