Account in Dispute comments

by Karl
Updated: June 18, 2018

Why you might NOT want to remove Account in Dispute comments from your credit report

Account in Dispute comments, a.k.a. AID comments, are notes on a credit report along the lines of “Consumer disputes this account information” indicating that some account details should be excluded when the credit profile is evaluated. They can adversely affect your credit score. They can can also protect it!

January 2018: I wanted to apply for credit. My credit report was looking good... apart from one card that showed up on my credit report with “Account information disputed by consumer” in the comments section (visible only on my full detailed report).

I had a vague memory of disputing something years ago so I figured these comments were left over from that. I did some research and then contacted* each of the major credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and Transunion - to ask them to remove the comments.

* I couldn’t find any shortcut numbers so I used the contact numbers published by each bureau. For Equifax and Transunion I got through to a helpful human quickly and easily. Experian had an automated system that didn’t provide a suitable option but by responding in a confused way I was eventually put through to a helpful human.

February 2018: My scores had dropped by 20-40 points!

When I checked my summary report, I saw that the card had been moved from “credit cards” category to “other accounts” and on my full report it had an updated comment: “Flexible spending credit card.” So I called my card provider to find out what that meant...

Flexible spending credit card

A flexible spending credit card is one that has no fixed spending limit. What is quoted as the credit limit is actually the maximum balance you’re allowed to roll forward. It affects your minimum payment. For example, if the quoted limit is $25,000 and you charge $30,000 then the minimum payment when the billing period closes will be at least $5,000.

The downside is, since there’s no real credit limit, the card is usually treated as if it’s always fully maxed-out. This (combined, presumably, with the potential to run up unlimited debt) is reflected in a severe lowering of your credit score.

Ironically, you need really good credit to get one of these.

AID comments to the rescue

Account in Dispute comments seem to cause the special nature of my flexible spending credit card to be ignored and treated like a normal credit card.

March 2018: Thankfully, these comments were re-reported by my card issuer and put back on my credit report with the result that my credit score was restored.

Lesson learned

If you see AID comments on your credit report, do this:

  1. Check with your credit provider first to determine if your account is of the flexible spending variety:

    • Yes - Take no more action, leave the comments in place
    • No - Find out exactly what the comments refer to and request the appropriate changes
  2. Wait until after the account is reported again for any changes to appear on your credit report.
  3. Contact the credit bureaus directly to remove any residual comments (should never be necessary).

More info

Credit Infocenter describes some of the pros & cons of AID comments and includes the good advice of getting this fixed before applying for a loan.

The Remove Account In Dispute comments thread at ficoforums.myfico.com has been going since 2011.

Credit Security Group describes some other situations where it might be a good idea to leave dispute wording in place.

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