There are several different kinds of credit report errors that can show up in your report. These include identity errors where your identity is confused with someone who has a similar name; other types of errors could be incorrectly reported account statuses and data management errors. The point is that you can easily fall prey to any of these mistakes. It is a good idea to request a copy of your credit report to review regularly from the two credit reporting agencies in Canada: TransUnion and Equifax.
Incorrect information on your credit report can affect your credit score, which is what lenders use to determine whether they will lend you money as well as how much you will pay for a loan. You have the right dispute any errors you find when looking at your credit report. Here are some ways to get a credit report error corrected:
Dispute the Error with the Credit Reporting Agency, Not the Lender
While it is possible for you to dispute a credit report error with a lender without interacting with a credit reporting agency, this is not a good idea. Although this option may seem to be the simplest one because you are bypassing the agency’s dispute system, you may be forfeiting your right to fight back if the lender does not correct the mistake.
If you have documentation that supports your argument about an error on your credit report, you should send it to the agency. For example, if a bankruptcy that is not yours shows up on your credit report, you may be able to have it removed with the right supporting documentation.
Communicate in Writing When Disputing Large Errors
It is possible to fix small issues online but if you spot a major credit report error, you will want to handle your dispute in writing. It is recommended that you send the documentation via certified mail and request a return receipt so that you can determine whether it was received by the credit reporting agency.
One of the issues with online communication is that the dispute forms on credit reporting agency websites may be small. As a result, you will have a hard time explaining your case fully.
Make a Phone Call
If you are able to talk to the agency’s representatives, there is the possibility that you can win them over. Communicating with a live human who may be willing to fight for you can be very helpful.
Get a Fresh Report from the Agency
A recent report from the credit reporting agency ensures that both you and the agency will be able to see the same information. You will want a report that contains up-to-date information. If you dispute a report that is months old, the information that the agency has may be completely different from yours.
Wondering what you can do to improve your credit score? Read our 5 tips for improving yours.