Equifax Credit Report Dispute Investigation/Resolution Form
Just like it is advisable to have an annual medical check up to keep track of your physical health, it is a good idea to periodically check your credit health as well. Being aware of your credit record can help you identify weak areas in your credit profile and take steps to improve these areas, if necessary.
However, sometimes, it is possible that your credit report might contain errors which are unnecessarily bringing down your score. There are typically three times when mistakes could occur – when the lenders send customer information to the bureaus; when the bureaus enter the information; and when the individual gives information to the lender/bureau. Another reason for possible discrepancies is fraud. For all these reasons it is important to identify errors and have them rectified as soon as possible to avoid any damage to your credit health.
What are the most common errors found in a credit report?
Here are some of the most common mistakes found in Credit Information Reports:
Wrong personal information: Check that your name is spelt correctly and the correct initials are used. Even a small misspelling makes it possible for data to be switched from another person with a similar name. Your residential address, email ID, your contact phone numbers, employment information etc., should be updated. If you have a change in marital status, it is a good idea to get it reflected in the credit report as well.
Additionally, many times, the credit bureau will communicate to you primarily through email or SMS. For instance, if they need your authorization to furnish your credit report to a third party, they will contact you through the email address you have supplied. If you have requested a credit report, they will email it to you at the email ID they have in their records. Wrong or outdated contact information can be the source of unnecessary confusion and delay.
Status of accounts: Even if you have fully paid off your loan and closed your account, it could be mistakenly shown as being open, due to administrative error. This could cause your credit score to drop. Similarly, you might have closed an account by paying off all your outstanding dues, but the status might continue to be shown as ‘Written off.’ Ensure that all your account status information is accurate since a wrong or outdated credit account status can damage your credit score.
Mistaken credit limit: Sometimes your new credit limit might not be reflected in your credit report – again due to a reporting error. A high credit limit will help your credit score, so if your limit has increased recently, make sure that the change is reflected in your report.
Unknown entries: You might also find entries for loans that you have not taken, or credit cards that you do not possess. These could be potential signs of ID theft and fraud. If you notice any unfamiliar loan or credit card accounts, immediately report it to the bureau to get it investigated and rectified.
How to correct your Equifax Credit report
It is simple to file a Dispute Investigation with Equifax to rectify errors in your CIR. If you discover any discrepancies in your credit report, file a dispute immediately to get it corrected.
You can file a dispute on the Equifax website online in three easy steps:
Step 1: Log on to the Equifax website and download the Dispute Resolution Form. State your question/problem in the space provided. Be clear and accurate as this will help quicker processing of your complaint.
Step 2: Once you have filled in the form, you need to attach a valid, self-attested copy of a) Identity Proof (voter ID card / driver’s license / passport / PAN card – any one) and b) 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 Equifax website:
Equifax Credit Information Services Private Limited
Unit No. 931, 3rd Floor
Building No 9, Solitaire Corporate Park,
Andheri Ghatkopar Link Road,
Mumbai 400 093
Some Equifax guidelines for sending the dispute from 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. They should be current, updated, official ID documents with all the relevant details visible.
- The name and address on the ID proofs should be of the requestor and there should be no mismatch
- The address should be clear and visible
Typically, it takes up to 30-45 days for the error to be corrected and to reflected in your Credit Information Report. The credit bureau cannot make any changes independently and it can update the status only after it gets the requisite authorization from the lender concerned.
It is very important to follow up to check that the error/s have been rectified and the correct status is reflected in your credit report. Make sure that once you file the complaint, that you follow through on the query until resolution and that you see the change in your CIR.
General guidelines for sending the above documents:
All photo copies should be self-attested
Please ensure that ID card numbers and photographs are clear and visible.
All bills should be within 3 months from the current date.
All ID proof documents with validity dates should be valid at the time of sending the request.
The name and address on the documents should be of the requestor
The address should be clear and visible