For many bank account holders, Early Warning Services (EWS) is a mystery. You may not even be aware of Early Warning Services until you need to dispute EWS.
It’s important to know if your bank uses some type of checking account reporting company. In all likelihood, they are using at least one of these checking account reporting companies in addition to verifying your identity with a soft-pull of your credit report:
These types of companies compile information on consumers provided by banks and credit unions. A report is created using an your prior checking account history. Banks and credit unions can use these reports to decide whether to approve or deny a request for a checking account.
If you are denied an account based in any part on information from a checking account reporting company, you are entitled to a notice that includes the company name that provided the negative information.
You are also entitled to to know what information is in your EWS report and to dispute EWS or correct anything that’s not accurate.
Guide to Dispute Early Warning Services
If you’re having a hard time opening a bank account because of EWS, follow these five steps to dispute EWS Reports.
1. Request your detailed EWS Report
Early Warning Services does not make it clear that you can order your “standard report” (“disclosure”) or a much more detailed, “comprehensive report.” The comprehensive report needs to be requested specifically when ordering your EWS report.
You must first download and complete an Identification Form and return it with a copy of your government-issued identification. You can submit the completed form along with your identification through the following methods:
Electronically through the EWS communication portal
Go to: consumerservices.earlywarning.com. When prompted for the Early Warning email address, enter email@example.com. Follow the online instructions to create your User ID and password and upload the documents to be transmitted to Early Warning. If you need technical assistance call 1.877.639.4457.
Attn: Consumer Services Department
16552 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Alternative method to order EWS Report
Contact Early Warning Services at their Consumer Call Center
(800) 325-7775 for your consumer report.
2. Dispute Errors with Early Warning Services
If you find information that you believe is wrong, gather supporting documents, such as payment records or bank statements then submit a written dispute by using one of the below methods.
- Electronically through our secure communication portal
- Via fax
- By mail
Attn: Consumer Services
16552 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Early Warning has up to thirty (30) days to complete the dispute process. Depending on the outcome of the dispute, the information may either be removed, updated or retained on your Early Warning consumer report.
You will be notified in writing, by US mail, of the outcome of the dispute within five (5) business days of the dispute being completed.
3. Dispute Errors Directly with the Bank that Reported You
Mail a dispute letter directly to the financial institution yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, use this sample letter to get started.
The bank is under the same time period restriction to investigate the dispute within 30 days. If they confirm that information is wrong or incomplete, they’re bound by federal law to correct it.
4. Pay for deletion of debts
If your report is accurate and you owe money, pay the debt in exchange for a deletion. The bank is only required to report the debt as paid but in some instances you may be able to negotiate a deletion in exchange for payment. If your budget is tight, see if the bank is willing to settle for less than the debt amount.
5. Wait until the record drops off the database
If all else fails, wait until blemishes fall off your record. Reported information is usually removed from your Early Warning Services file after five years, although the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for the blemish to remain for 7 years.
Until then, you might be able to open a second chance checking account. These accounts are designed for people with bad credit or banking histories. A second chance bank account can help rebuild your financial history and make you eligible for a standard bank account, usually within a year.
Find out how to dispute ChexSystems records, your bank may use one or more checking account reporting companies.