Here’s what happened on my husband’s credit report when he disputed a charge

Here’s what happened on my husband’s credit report when he disputed a charge
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

Happy-New-Year-Image-Free-1My husband loves stand-up comedy. So as we have done many New Year’s Eves before, we rang in 2016 going to a local comedy club. It was the first time we went to this club. But my blood boiled when we got the bill for our four drinks. The tax being charged was way too much. The hotel bar refused to do anything about it so we paid our bill and went home. They probably did not realize who they were dealing with.

Bear with me – I need to tell you the story leading up to the issue at hand.

I’ve written before about excessive liquor taxes now being levied in Oklahoma (Hey, Watch the Excessive Sales Tax on My Margarita!), but this bill was ridiculous. I spent New Year’s Day looking up the proper tax and re-calculating what we should have been charged under the law. My husband Jeff called Discover to dispute the charge. Discover launched an inquiry, and the partial credit to Jeff’s account eventually became permanent. Jeff also reported the incident to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Now, let’s fast forward to this past week.

I finally got around to checking both our credit reports at www.annualcreditreport.com. It had been a little over two years since I last checked them. Yeah I know, I’m supposed to practice what I preach and check them annually. The only report I was able to get was Equifax. For whatever reason, I could not get Experian or Transunion.

My report was correct. At first, Jeff’s looked right too – then I noticed this comment written in each month’s reporting under his Discover card:

“Consumer disputes this account information.”

Jeff felt people looking at his report would think he’s had problems with Discover. Nothing could be further from the truth. He called Discover to find out what was going on.

Here’s what we found out.

Apparently when he disputed the charge in early January 2016, the comment was added to all his reported Discover history (March 2015 through August 2016). It would stay on until he asked for it to be taken off. Would he like for it to be taken off? Discover asked. Yes please!

Boy, I learned something new. I will be checking the other two credit reports later this year to make sure the comment is off both of them as well.

Disputing a charge can affect your credit score. The information in dispute will not be used in the FICO score model. Read this blog post at Credit.com for more information. Jeff had noticed a change in his credit score but we attributed that to a change in his utilization ratio. Now we’re wondering. We’ll check to see if there is any change in the credit score reported on his monthly Discover statement over the next few months.

Update – My husband’s Discover statement pulled on 10/4/16. His credit score went up by 60 points. Now it’s back to where it has been historically.

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