These agencies generate reports that reveal your personal information, past and current record of credit card use, loans, and bill payments. However, they are not always accurate. Over the last few years, over 500 complaints have been received by Canadian consumer affairs agencies reporting errors on their reports leading to lower credit scores. These lower scores cost you money – naïve consumers end up paying higher interest rates and are unable to get loans. It’s essential to review your credit reports annually to confirm that your personal and financial information is accurate, and report any errors to Canadian credit reporting agencies immediately.
Dispute Resolution Process
Typically, errors are reported by consumers who have discovered erroneous information in their file, debts reported that they haven’t incurred, debts listed that have already been paid, and inaccurate payment histories. It is your right to challenge wrong information in your credit report and demand that credit reporting agencies rectify them. Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada are required by law to perform a “reasonable” investigation when consumers disagree with their credit report information. Unfortunately, credit reporting agencies depend on misinformation furnished by lenders and debt collectors. If the data provider verifies the inaccuracies as accurate, the damaging marks stay on your credit report. Consumers often get nowhere, even if they dispute the investigation results numerous times. Many have to hire legal counsel to resolve the problem.
Steps to Correct Errors
- Obtain current reports directly from Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada
- Analyze credit reports for blatant and less obvious errors such as unknown addresses, birth date inaccuracies, or incorrect Social Insurance Numbers. Credit report errors may indicate that files have been mixed or there has been fraud.
- Highlight errors and make numerous copies of the report.
- Don’t dispute your case online. Compose your dispute letter, either in writing or typed, and post it by certified mail.
- Address only one dispute per letter.
- Attach documentation and any other evidence that you have that verifies your claim. Be sure to make copies of all correspondence and evidence.
- Mail dispute letters to the credit reporting agencies and the lender or debt collectors.
- Keep records of everything.
If unsuccessful in your dispute, there are some further options. If you have contacted Equifax and TransUnion, and disagree with their investigation findings, you will need to take additional steps.
- Escalate your complaint to someone at a higher level at the credit reporting agencies.
- Contact the lender
If you have financial documentation, contact the lender directly. Have the lender verify the information with its files and deliver updated information to the credit reporting agencies. If you are still not satisfied, escalate your case by asking to speak with someone at a higher level. Should the lender be federally regulated, request information on its complaint-handling process. You can also look up this information, using an online tool, provided by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).
You can also add a consumer statement to your report. You can give details about credit report items that are incorrect and the process is free. Your consumer statement needs to be 100 words or less, but allows you to let lenders, and other credit report reviewers, know of your dispute.
Make a written complaint to provincial or territorial governments in charge of consumer affairs.
Fast Access Finance can help you get the loan you need even if you don’t have an excellent credit rating. Fast Access reports all payments to Equifax Canada so you can improve your credit score. Visit fastaccess.com today and start rebuilding your credit today.