Tuesday, March 1, 2016

5 Steps to Correcting Errors on Your Credit Report

After introducing credit reports last week and some of the issues to look out for, we are going to dig down further to discuss correcting errors on your credit report.

This can be a frustrating experience for anyone concerned but knowing the process can help.

Have you ever had a company double charge your credit card? Or ever had an unauthorized purchase? Or even a case of identity fraud? Sometimes these mistakes might not even be something you are aware of until you check your credit report.

Or if you aren’t in the practice of regularly checking your credit yet, you may become aware when applying for a mortgage/loan or you get a call from a creditor or collection company.

Here is the process for correcting errors such as this on your credit report:

1. Support your case
Gather receipts, statements and other documents related to your credit accounts. You may need them to prove your claim.

2. Contact the credit reporting agencies
Use their forms for correcting errors and updating information. Do this for both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Before the agencies can make any changes, they first need to check your claim with the lender that reported the information. If the lender agrees there is an error, the agencies will update your file. However, if the lender confirms the information is correct, the agencies will not make any changes. If your file is updated, some provincial laws require credit reporting agencies to send a revised copy of your credit report to anyone that recently reviewed it.

3. Contact the lender
You may be able to speed up the process by contacting the lender yourself about the error. Ask the lender to verify its files and provide the credit reporting agencies with updated information.

4. Escalate your case
Not satisfied with the results of the investigation? Ask to speak with someone at a higher level at the credit reporting agency or the lender. If the lender is a federally regulated financial institution, and it will not correct the error, ask for information on its complaint-handling process. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) also has an online tool you can use to look up your institution’s complaint-handling process.

5. Add a consumer statement
If you still are not satisfied, ask the credit reporting agencies to add a consumer statement. This lets you provide details about an item on your credit report, using up to 100 words. It’s free of charge. Lenders and others who review your credit report may consider your consumer statement when they make their decisions.

Have you ever had any experience in correcting errors on your credit report? How was your experience?

Russel Lalovich
Office: (519) 966-0444
Cell: (519) 995-5620

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