How to correct your Equifax Credit Report
Have you ever applied for a loan or credit card and been shocked that your application has been denied because of your poor credit score? Or have you been told that your poor credit score doesn’t qualify you for the best interest rates?
Unfortunately, these kinds of scenarios are only too common for many. Being aware of small things such as what a credit score means, or knowing how a credit report could determine what loan amount you qualify for. The good news is, if you have bad credit, it is never too late to start rebuilding your credit score and become eligible for the best possible loan offers. In order to be aware of your credit health, you need to periodically check your Credit Information Report (CIR) - commonly referred to as a credit report.
It is also possible, that your credit report can contain errors that are affecting your credit profile and score. As soon as you obtain your Equifax credit information report, scan it for any kind of inconsistencies. Often, your report might contain reporting errors that needlessly drags down your score. For example, your name or address might be misspelled, your credit limit misreported, or the status of a loan account which is actually 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 score.
What are the most common errors found in a credit report?
Following is a compilation of the most common errors found in a credit information report. Keep in mind that if you spot any such errors, immediately file a dispute and get it corrected. More on that later.
Incorrect personal information: Make sure that your name is spelled correctly and the right initials are used. Even a slight misspelling makes it possible that your credit report contains information from another person with a similar name. Your address, your contact number, employment information etc., should be accurate and up to date. Make sure you review these details carefully.
Also, get your marital status changed after you are divorced and make sure to check your credit report to make sure no new debts from your ex-spouse are added to your credit records.
Incorrect status of accounts: Sometime, if you have fully paid off your loan and closed your account, it could continue to be 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.’ Make sure that all your account status information is updated and does not reflect an old status.
Wrong credit limit:Sometimes your new credit limit is not 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.
Duplicate accounts: Sometimes reporting errors lead to a single account being reported more than once. This might make it look like you have higher debt-to-credit ratio and knock down your credit score.
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
Apply directly through Equifax:
If you find any errors in your credit report, it is very important to file a dispute immediately and get it corrected. Errors can be committed either by you while giving information, or by your lender while updating your credit behavior and account information, or by the credit bureau. Nonetheless, these can be easily corrected and updated.
You can file a dispute on the Equifax website online in the following easy
Step 1: Download the Dispute Resolution Form and clearly state your query in the space provided. 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 Equifax website.
Some guidelines for sending the dispute from and supporting documents:
- Keep in mind the all photo copies 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
- The address should be clear and visible
Typically, it takes up to 30-45 days for the error to be corrected. The credit bureau cannot make any changes on its own and will 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.
On the CreditMantri Website:
Alternatively, if you think you do not have the time to approach Equifax directly and might need help with correcting any errors in your Equifax Credit Report, CreditMantri can take care of the entire complaint process. It can file a dispute with the bureau regarding the errors and follow up on the issue until resolution.