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Disputes FAQ

What is a dispute?

A dispute is an action you can take, within your legal rights, to notify TransUnion about information you believe to be incorrect on your credit report.

When you raise a dispute, TransUnion will investigate the data accuracy with the data provider (e.g. lenders, local council, or the courts) and provide you with an outcome within 28 days, in accordance with our obligations under Section 159 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Are disputes free?

Yes, you will never be charged to raise a dispute.

What does a typical dispute investigation process look like?

If you decide to raise a dispute, the process can be broken down into these 3 simple steps:

  1. You raise a dispute either online or manually.

    If you choose to raise a dispute online you can do so via our online dispute process; this link will take you to our free online statutory credit report application where you will need to provide your personal details. You will also need to answer some security questions to verify your identity prior to gaining access to your credit report. Once you have passed verification and identified the incorrect information on your report, the next step is to click on the dispute button attached to the incorrect item which will prompt an investigation by TransUnion.

    If you are unable to pass verification, or you choose not to raise a dispute online, you can raise a dispute using the manual method.

    The link to raise a dispute online can be found at the bottom of this page. The manual option is available from the menu on the left hand side of this page.

  2. TransUnion investigates your concerns with the data provider directly or, if your dispute is against publicly available data, TransUnion will request evidence from you to support your dispute.

    As a credit reference agency, we are unable to make any amendments to the disputed data without first completing an investigation and where necessary receive authorisation from the organisation who provided the data.

    In some instances, we will need you to provide evidence to allow us to progress our investigation of your dispute. We will make you aware of any evidence we need from you when you raise the dispute. We will not be able to progress without it.

  3. TransUnion will contact you with an outcome, by post or email, within 28 days.

    We will either send you an email or a letter to confirm the outcome of your dispute. The method of contact will depend on how you raised your dispute:

    • If you use the online portal to raise a dispute, we will email you, or
    • If you use the manual dispute option, we will respond via letter.

    Here are some examples of potential outcomes:

    • No changes made as evidence requested was not received within the 28 day timeframe.
    • Data provider advises data is accurate, no changes made.
    • Data provider agrees to change incorrect information.
    • No response received from data provider within 28 days. If applicable data will be suppressed from view (hidden).
What can I do if the information on my credit report is accurate, but I would like to explain the circumstances behind it?

Where your credit report data is accurate, but you’d like to explain the reason behind an item, you can choose to add wording of your choice to your credit report in the form of a Notice of Correction (NOC).

A NOC is free to apply and has no impact on your credit score. However, the presence of a NOC will slow down any future applications for credit (e.g. credit card, mortgage) as any lender viewing your credit report will be required to manually review your credit report.

When you submit a NOC to be added to your credit report TransUnion will review the wording you provide. The wording must be in line with the NOC Guidelines below. TransUnion may write to you with a suggested alternative wording if the statement does not adhere to the guidelines, which are:

  • Must be no longer than 200 words.
  • Must be relevant to the information within your credit report.
  • Must not be frivolous, defamatory or libellous.
  • Cannot name a third party.
  • Cannot apportion blame.
  • Cannot contain confidential personal information.

If you disagree with TransUnion’s alternative wording, we can appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office for final say on the wording before adding it to your credit report.

To add a NOC to your credit report please email your chosen wording to: [email protected]

Or alternatively, you can write to us at:

Consumer Services Team
PO BOX 647
Unit 4

Please be aware that any NOCs which are added to your TransUnion credit report will not be shared with other Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs). You should therefore also contact the other CRAs to add a Notice of Correction in their versions of your credit report to the data item you want explaining.

You can contact the other two CRAs using the links:

What is the difference between a Credit Bureau and a Creditor?

A Credit Bureau, also known as Credit Reference Agency (CRA), is a company that collects and stores consumer data from different sources (including local authorities, county courts, banks and building societies, credit card providers, and utilities and telecoms companies) to compile credit history records for consumers. These records can then be used by companies and consumers for various purposes such as responsible lending, and money laundering and fraud prevention.

A Creditor, also known as a lender (a bank, or credit card provider for example), is a company that extends a credit facility to a consumer, such as a mortgage, loan or credit card.

Starting a Dispute

Can I dispute a search?

Searches are like footprints which have been left by organisations who have visited your credit report. A search footprint will show you who, what, when, and why your credit report was viewed. A search will stay on your credit file for 2 years.

In most cases your personal data will only be accessed by an organisation with whom you have a direct relationship with (e.g. where you’ve used a comparison site to get the best deals, or made an application for credit). Before your credit report is viewed by the organisation you are dealing with, they should provide you with their Privacy Policy, which explains how they propose to use your credit history data, and includes the name of a Credit Reference Agency they intend to use.

There are lots of different reasons why your credit report may have been viewed. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Assess your eligibility for a credit product
  • Verify you are who you say you are by performing anti-fraud and identity checks
  • Request the best deals from a price comparison service

If you do not recognise the name of an organisation who has recorded a search footprint on your credit report, this may be because they operate under a trading name or are part of a wider business group. Equally, if you have been looking for the best insurance deal on a comparison site, the search may show the group or partner company name and not the specific insurance company name.

If you wish to dispute the validity of a search footprint, we recommend you first contact the company that conducted the search. Or, if you believe that the search was made fraudulently, you can query this information via the dispute process.

What is the difference between a hard and soft search?

A search is described as ‘hard’ if it can have an impact on your credit score and ‘soft’ if it doesn’t.

Your TransUnion credit score is not influenced by search but too many credit application searches in a short space of time could have an impact on your ability to obtain credit.

This is because lenders are unable to see the outcome of any searches against your credit report, which means you may have more credit available to you than is currently visible on your report (NB: we receive financial account data every 4-6 weeks).

Can I dispute financial account information such as credit cards?

Yes, if you think there is an inaccuracy with the information reported to us by a financial institution you can raise a dispute and we will investigate on your behalf.

Please note:

  • Financial account data stays on your credit report for 6 years from the date it is settled and closed, except defaulted accounts which are removed from your report 6 years from the date of default.
  • If you do not recognise the name of a lender on your credit report it may be that the name is of a wider business group. Please check the other information appearing on the financial account before you raise a dispute, such as the start date and starting balance, as this might remind you what it relates to.
Can I dispute my associate, address and alias links?

An associate link shows the name of an individual with whom you are financially connected to. Perhaps you have a mortgage with them, or some other form of credit such as a loan.

Associate links remain on your credit report until you apply to be disassociated, which you can do by raising a dispute against the link on your credit report. However, please note that we will be unable to disassociate you if you are still financially connected to the individual. Therefore, please ensure that all joint accounts are either closed or have been changed to be in one name only before submitting a dispute.

Address links and Alias links show previous addresses and other names you’ve been financially connected to. These will appear on your credit report when you update your personal information with your existing credit providers or provide your personal history when taking out credit with someone new. This data remains on your credit report indefinitely as it helps to create a clearer image of your credit history. However, if you have never been known at an address or known by a name you are linked to please raise a dispute.

When do I need to provide documentary evidence to support my dispute?

You do not need to provide evidence regarding a dispute raised about:

  • Financial account information
  • Searches
  • Associate links
  • Address links
  • Alias links
  • Court orders or Judgments you do not recognise

You will need to provide evidence to support a dispute raised about:

  • Electoral Register
  • Court Orders (Bankruptcy and Insolvencies) that you do recognise, but think are inaccurate
  • Judgments

Where evidence is required from you, please send it through to our consumer services team after you have raised your dispute. Our consumer services contact details are provided at the bottom of this page.

If the dispute you raise requires evidence and we do not receive it within 28 days of your dispute being raised, then no further action will be taken by TransUnion and your dispute will be closed.

My credit report contains another person’s information, how can I fix it?

TransUnion receives an enormous amount of personal data records each month from numerous sources. This data can be imperfect in a number of ways, for example incomplete or miss-spelled names, addresses or dates of birth. We devote considerable time, effort and expertise to enable our systems to match all received data to the correct person to ensure we get the most complete picture possible of an individual’s identity and credit history. We have an incredibly high success rate but in the rare event our data matching routines fail to find the right individual for a particular item of data, we can make suitable amendments to our database via the dispute process.

If you believe your credit report has become incorrectly merged with someone else’s credit report, please follow the dispute process to notify us. You should also:

  • Check your credit report with the other Credit Reference Agencies to ensure they are also accurate.
  • Identify all of the information that doesn’t belong to you, which could include accounts, addresses or alias links.
  • Ensure you check your credit report regularly to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
Can I apply for credit if I have an open dispute?

Yes, you can continue to apply for credit as you normally would. Your open dispute won’t block access to your credit report. Anyone processing your credit application will be able to see a notice of dispute against the item under dispute on your credit report.

Waiting for Dispute results

How long does it take to get the result of my dispute?

Once we have received your dispute notification, it can take us up to 28 days to investigate and let you know the outcome.

Will I receive updates during the dispute process?

We will not send you updates during the investigation period, but we will contact you by post or email regarding the outcome of our investigation within 28 days of you raising your dispute.

How do I cancel a dispute?

If you wish to cancel your dispute at any time, please provide your request to our customer services team with your dispute reference number and instruction to cancel.

Please note, we cannot cancel disputes once completed because they have already closed. Disputes which have been completed or cancelled will not be visible on your credit report to anyone assessing you for credit.

Reviewing your Dispute results

What happens if TransUnion does not receive a response from the data provider within 28 days?

If we do not receive a response from the data provider from which your disputed data item relates to within 28 days of your dispute being raised, we will either remove the data item from your credit report or suppress it from view; providing the dispute was not reliant on us receiving supporting evidence from you or that it is not currently validated by any other information on your report.

Please note that data can be resupplied or unsuppressed at any time by the data provider, this means the information will become visible again.

Why did the disputed item not come off my credit report?

Where a dispute investigation confirms that the data item is accurate, the item will continue to be shown on your credit report.

In addition to this, a data item can also remain on your credit report if we have requested, but not received, supporting evidence within the 28-day timeframe.

Can I submit more than one dispute at the same time?

We will investigate all of the individual data items you submit in your dispute notification during the same 28-day time period.

How long will it take to update incorrect information on my report?

Updates from data providers can take between 4-6 weeks to appear your credit report.

Why has the dispute been rejected?

There are a few reasons why a dispute could have been rejected, and you will be notified of this by post or email.

Identity Theft

What is identity fraud, and how can I protect myself from it?

Identity fraud is a serious crime where your personal information has been used by another individual without authorisation to defraud in your name. You’re the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your identity. Follow these tips to help ensure you don’t become a victim of identity theft:

  • Make sure you set your privacy settings on social media, and do not share your personal information.
  • Report any missing or stolen documents.
  • Shred documents containing personal information.
  • Check your bank statements for any suspicious transactions.
  • Check your credit report and financial accounts regularly for any suspicious activity.

What should I do if I’ve been a victim of fraud?

Don’t panic, we are here to help you through this process. There are a few steps that can be taken to help you resolve any issues with your creditors, remove inaccurate information from your credit report and protect your information, which are:

  • Check your credit report and raise a dispute on any data items you do not recognise. To raise a dispute please follow the dispute process to notify us. We will raise your concerns with the organisation(s) who provided us with your data to make them aware that the data is possibly fraudulent. The organisation(s) will then investigate and remove any data they’ve shared with us where fraud has been identified. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can contact the lenders directly with your concerns.
  • You may wish to add a password to your credit report in the form of a Notice of Correction, describing your concern and providing a password, which is applied to your credit report for the attention of anyone accessing your TransUnion credit report. Adding a password to your credit report like this will alert anyone processing an application for credit in your name to request the password as an extra security check; confirming your identity prior to accepting or rejecting the application.

    While adding a Notice of Correction to your credit report is completely free and has absolutely no impact on your credit score, please be mindful that it may delay any future credit applications you make as the lender must take extra precautionary steps to ensure your application is genuine. To add a password to your credit report please email your chosen wording to: [email protected]

    Or alternatively, you can write to us at:

    Consumer Services Team
    PO BOX 647
    Unit 4
    HU9 9QZ

    Please be aware that any NOCs which are added to your TransUnion credit report will not be shared with other Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs). You should therefore also contact the other CRAs to add a Notice of Correction in their versions of your credit report to the data item you want explaining.

    You can contact the other two CRAs using the links:

  • You may wish to apply for a ‘Protective Registration’ marker to be placed on your credit report, which will notify anyone performing a credit search against you that they should take special precautions to ensure your identity before extending credit. Registration costs £20 and lasts for around 2 years. All applications for Protective Registration are made directly to Cifas. For more information, please see the following link: https://www.cifas.org.uk/services/identity-protection/protective-registration.

If you have any further questions on the information provided above, you can contact our consumer services team directly at:

Email: [email protected]

Consumer Services Team
PO BOX 647
Unit 4

Dispute process