Covid-19 has resulted in unprecedented economic hardships to millions of people around the world. Many of them have lost their jobs and are struggling to make their loan repayments or pay their credit card bills on time.
The government announced a moratorium period for loans to give some breathing space for the consumers. However, whether your lender informed the credit bureau is a big question. If the deferred payment was reported as a late payment or a default, it would have some negative ramifications for your credit score.
If you made permissible deferred payments for homes, cars, college, credit cards, and other items during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should review your credit reports. Your credit score could be harmed if the payments were listed as late.
Some customers were given a lifeline at the start of the pandemic: the right to delay payments on a variety of loans, including student loans and home loans, as well as credit cards and car loans, personal loans, etc.
Consumers claim they were told deferring payments would have no effect on their credit scores. However, instead of reporting deferred payments as current, some entities reported them as late, which can have a long-term effect on your credit.
Credit reporting mistakes aren't uncommon. According to one survey, one out of every four people has a mistake on their report. And the number of incidents to the credit bureaus about errors and disputes is at an all-time high.
According to experts, this issue existed even before the pandemic, but it is now much more severe due to the large number of people who have been affected by the crisis.
You can get your latest credit score and report right on our website. If you discover a mistake, report it to the appropriate credit bureau. Prepare the supporting documents ahead of time to expedite the procedure. It can take up to 30 days to receive a response, so keep checking until the problem is resolved.
Role Of The Credit Bureaus during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Credit bureaus are keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and its effects on businesses and individuals. They also put in place several steps to assist customers who have been affected by the Coronavirus, as well as partnering with borrowers and lenders to minimize the impact on consumers' credit scores.
Consumers who are facing financial difficulties may be concerned about the effect of late or reduced payments on their credit scores. Concerned individuals should speak with their lenders and creditors to explore their alternatives.
Here are some tips to minimize any impact that this pandemic may have on your credit score:
Communicate with your lenders: Talk to your lenders and creditors and see if any assistance is available. You will be surprised to learn how much your lenders can do for you, only if you ask. So, talk to them. Tell them your situation and see how best you can work out a plan regarding your loan or credit card outstanding.
Pay as much as you can: To stop late payments showing up in your credit reports, strive to make at least the minimum payment on accounts, or whatever sum you and the lender or creditor agree on. It might be a bit difficult in the current situation, especially for someone facing job loss, but just paying the minimum amount due can go a long way in keeping your credit score healthy.
Monitor your Credit Reports: Every 12 months, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the four national credit bureaus. Take advantage of this opportunity to obtain your most recent credit report and assess your credit status. If you find any errors, dispute them immediately to get them rectified. Ensure that your report is up to date and all your payments are reported correctly.
Consider including a customer statement on your credit reports: Credit bureaus authorize you to include a brief 100-word description of your condition on your credit reports. Learn how to add a declaration to your credit report to inform future lenders that your current condition is solely due to the pandemic and that you are taking all appropriate measures to rectify it as soon as possible.
The current pandemic situation was a total shocker to everyone around the world. We were not prepared for something of this magnitude. Nevertheless, the pandemic has destroyed the livelihood of millions around the world and put millions more in financial limbo. The choice is between taking care of your family or paying credit card bills, for many. There is very little attention towards credit score as of now. But, one should remember that a few simple steps are all it takes to keep your credit wellness going strong. Follow the simple tips listed above and you are good to go.
- I opted for the 3 months’ loan moratorium during the Covid-19 pandemic. Should I report it to the credit bureau?
Yes, you should. In reality, the bank itself should inform the credit bureau regarding your moratorium period. But if they have not done it, you can let your credit bureau know of the same so that it reflects correctly on your credit report as a loan deferment and not a late payment.
- I was unable to pay my student loan EMI for a few months due to the pandemic, will it affect my credit score?
Any kind of non-payments will have an adverse effect on your credit score. It would help to talk to your lender and credit bureau and explain the situation so that they can update your credit report.
- How to keep my credit score strong even during the pandemic?
You should try to make timely repayments. If you are unable to pay the entire credit card bill, try to make at least the minimum amount due so that your credit score is not affected.
- Is there an option to get some respite from my loan payments during this pandemic?
Your lender is the best person to talk to about this. Lenders have a lot to offer to genuine borrowers. During this pandemic, lenders are making an honest effort to assist their consumers with the best alternatives and solutions regarding their loans. So, talk to your lender and see how you both can work out a plan during this stressful situation.