Credit Score has garnered a lot of attention in the recent times, given the role it plays in getting your request for credit approved or rejected. It is not merely a number, it says a lot about your credit history and your behavior with credit. Going by that logic, it is but normal to see low credit scores when you have not acted responsibly with credit, like not paying on time, defaulting on loans, maxing out your credit cards, etc.
However, it could be quite shocking to see a loan or credit card application being rejected due to your poor credit score when you know you had maintained a good track record of credit behavior. You might wonder why.
As your credit activities are reported by your lenders to the credit bureaus, it is sometimes possible that your credit report can contain errors as human work is involved in updating the credit report.
Additional Reading: What are the common errors found on a Credit Report?
For example, your name or address might be misspelled, your credit limit misreported, or the status of a loan account which is closed might not have been properly updated. Sometimes, such mistakes might also signify ID theft and fraudulent activity. Getting these errors rectified can have an immediate positive impact on your credit score.
Steps to Remove Disputes from Your Credit Report
If you see errors on your Credit Report, it is good to get them rectified at the earliest, even if your credit score is not being affected.
To tackle a dispute, you would need to file a dispute.
With Whom Do You Need To File The Dispute For An Error In Your Credit Report?
This is an important doubt that many individuals have. To understand this, let us go through the process of your credit score generation.
It is the credit bureaus that assign you the score, but it is based on the data provided by your lenders. It is good to know that credit bureaus cannot change any information in your accounts on their own, as it is your lender who is responsible for your data.
So that does not mean that you can directly approach your lender saying that they have made an error in reporting your credit activities to the credit bureau.
Thus, a dispute for an error in the credit report has to be filed with the credit bureau, which in turn forwards it to your lender with all the proofs submitted by you for rectification. Once the lender rectifies it or overturns the dispute (possible when the information provided by you is wrong or does not match their records), the same is communicated to the other credit bureaus as well to the individual raising the dispute.
In effect, the dispute resolution process follows a reverse flow of the process we saw above.
The Dispute Resolution Process
Every Credit Bureau allows you to file a dispute with them if you notice an error on your credit report that was obtained through them. You need not file a dispute with each and every bureau. The dispute resolution process follows very simple process as detailed below.
You can file a dispute on the official websites of the credit bureaus in the following easy steps:
Step 1: Download the Dispute Resolution Form and clearly state your query in the space provided. While some credit bureaus also allow you to fill in an online form for disputes after logging into your account on the bureau's website. Choose your area of error properly; it could error regarding your identity details or account details. Be as accurate as possible, as this will help with faster processing.
Step 2: Once you have filled in the form, you need to attach a valid, self-attested copy of Identity Proof (voter ID card / driver’s license / passport / PAN card – any one) and Address Proof (Copy of electricity bill / landline telephone or mobile bill / credit card / savings / current account / other bank account statement / gas utility bill / ration card – copy of any one).
Step 3: You need to send the form along with the self-attested documents through courier, regular post or speed post to the address mentioned on the official website of the credit bureaus.
Guidelines For Sending The Dispute Form and Supporting Documents
Keep in mind the all photocopies should be properly self-attested
Make sure that ID card numbers and photographs are clear and visible
If you are sending any utility bills as way of address proof, then it should be within three months from the current date
Make sure that you are sending in copies of valid ID proof documents at the time of sending the dispute form
The name and address on the ID proofs should be of the requestor and there should be no mismatch
Once the dispute will all documents is received by the bureau, it will then contact the respective lender who can either accept the error and correct it or reject the error. Until then, that particular detail under your credit report will be shown as Under Dispute.
Typically, it takes up to 30-45 days for the error to be resolved.
It is very important to follow up to check that the errors have been rectified and the correct status is reflected in your credit report.