What Does ‘Consumer Disputes After Resolution’ Mean?

A Credit Reporting Agency (CRA) will typically add the statement “consumer disputes after resolution” when it is deemed that a consumer has unsuccessfully disputed information, which they believed to be incorrect, in their credit report.

The result of the dispute may conclude with “Completed investigation of FCRA dispute – consumer disagrees”.

When the lender verifies the information and concludes it to be accurate, the CRA will continue to report the same information prior to the dispute being filed.

In fact, the statement “meets FCRA requirements” may also be added to the account indicating the reported information to be accurate.

Consumer disagrees

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to challenge information stated in their credit report if they believe it to be incorrect.

A dispute can be initiated online with all three credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, particularly if they are all reporting the inaccuracy.

Filing a dispute with all three will prevent issues where inaccuracies are removed from one agency and not the others.

An alternative statement that may appear on your report and used to signify the same outcome is “dispute resolved – consumer disagrees”.

From a consumer perspective, the inclusion of this statement emphasizes their belief that the information is erroneous.

However, the statement is not always viewed favorably by lenders, and in reality may have a negative impact on credit score.

If you are adamant that there is in fact a genuine error in your credit report and you intend to pursue the matter further, there’s no stopping you from submitting another dispute.

However, ensure that you provide sufficient evidence to support your claim, particularly in addition to any documents submitted with the initial dispute.

How does “consumer disputes after resolution” impact credit score?

Ideally, the message should stand as a neutral acknowledgment of the consumer’s differing opinion. But the FICO algorithm does not appear to favor the borrower in this circumstance.

The “consumer disputes after resolution” statement generally lowers a consumer credit score by a few additional points.

Negative impact on credit score

FICO keeps the credit scoring algorithm fairly opaque, which is reasonable considering the purpose of credit scoring is to provide a fair and objective assessment of credit worthiness without lender bias.

Yet the small drop in score when the “consumer disputes after resolution” statement is added may be a fair indication that disagreeing with lender-reported information is not well received within the industry overall.

Some consumer advocates question the fairness of this credit score decrease.

Under FCRA, a borrower has the right to dispute. Adding a follow up statement that puts the borrower in further detriment perhaps should be interpreted as a caution against initiating the dispute process in the first place.

Is it okay to have this statement on my credit report?

Relatively, it is okay because in comparison to other more damaging statements, the impact of having “consumer disputes after resolution” in your credit report is insignificant.

Disregarding the potential drop in score, the statement still stands as an accurate acknowledgment by both the consumer and the lender that there is a disagreement.

If a consumer is actively working to provide documentation in order to support their argument, lenders may take this into consideration.

In fact, at times, this may sway the lender to make an exception and subsequently approve loans as internal operational protocols permit.

Some lenders interpret the statement as a red flag because it gives the impression that the borrower is shirking responsibility of debt repayment by stating the lender is at fault and reporting incorrectly.

Responsibility of debt repayment

Like the adage everyone in prison is innocent, some lenders consider protests against reporting inaccuracies as lack of accountability.

Sorting the impact of “consumer disputes” gets complicated, and there is no singular resolution.

Direct communication between the consumer, CRA and lender is necessary.

When is the statement added to the credit report?

Any of the following interactions may result in the “consumer disputes after resolution” statement being added onto the disputed account:

  • Contact between a consumer and a creditor wherein the consumer disputed information
  • Contact between a consumer and a CRA wherein the consumer disputed information
  • Contact between a credit repair company and a CRA wherein the credit repair company disputed information on behalf of the consumer

How is my credit report affected during the dispute process?

When consumers dispute account information on their credit report, the CRA places a code on the disputed account, giving it a neutral status.

While it remains in this status, typically within 30 to 45 days (depending on borrower state of residence), borrowers may notice that their credit score slightly increases.

When it is determined the lender is reporting correctly, the score will revert with an additional deduction from the pre-dispute score.  

While there is insufficient public transparency in the algorithm to reliably discern patterns, it is the aggregate impact consumers feel most severely when attempting to clean up their credit reports.

Credit report algorithms

It should be stated that this lack of transparency is intentional because consumers and lenders alike should not have the ability to predict patterns of scoring, except in general terms, when applying for credit or making credit decisions, respectively.

Should I remove the dispute statement?

Removing the “consumer disputes after resolution” wording from your credit report is sometimes suggested by lenders in order to raise a borrower’s credit score.

The results in removing this statement can vary, so it is beneficial to work with a lender that is well versed in the process.

Often it is beneficial for consumers to pay for a monthly subscription with one of the credit reporting agencies during the cleanup process.

This access provides an effective way to track the impact on credit score fluctuations.

Applying for a mortgage loan

Under specific mortgage types, it is a requirement that the dispute wording is removed prior to loan signing and funding.

Following the guidance of the approving mortgage lender, the borrower must indicate in writing that they agree and accept the reported information and that they no longer dispute the account information.

It can then be removed so the loan can close.

Applying for a consumer loan

It is uncommon that lenders require removal of dispute language for a consumer loan.

Still, there are circumstances that may require it, and it is best to address these with the help of the lender.

Loan approval

The most common scenario is when a consumer loan funding is concurrent with a mortgage approval. In this case, the process to request removal is the same as per a mortgage loan.

Can I disagree with something on my credit report without it impacting my credit score?

Yes, under the FCRA, consumers are allowed to include a personal statement (otherwise known as a consumer statement) of up to 100 words clarifying any derogatory credit appearing on their report.

It is intended to be a general statement and should appeal to future lenders who have the ability to make exceptions to lending guidelines or those offering alternative financing.

Is a consumer statement different from a “consumer disputes” comment?

A consumer statement is not a formal continuation of a dispute.

It is a consumer protection allowed under FCRA to provide explanation for derogatory credit or other special circumstances.

In addition to having no impact on your credit score, lenders tend to consider it favorably because there is no formal and direct disagreement indicated toward other creditors.

Depending on the consumer situation, it may be the best overall option.

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