The details in a credit report are used to compute an individual’s credit score. Since incorrect details have the potential to affect your chances of availing credit in the form of personal loans and home loans, insurance, or even jobs, it is essential to ensure the accuracy of your credit report. However, it is not uncommon for the concerned authorities to make mistakes in computing your credit score, and in such cases, individuals must dispute such inaccuracies and errors.
Businesses, lenders, employers, creditors, insurers, landlords, etc. take a close look at your credit report before determining your eligibility for credit. All of the details present in your credit report must be correct to ensure that you don’t have to deal with problems when seeking credit. Inaccurate credit reports can result in unfair treatment of individuals. Following is a comprehensive guide to disputing errors in your credit report.
- Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
Individuals who have noticed discrepancies in their credit reports must approach one of the three credit reporting agencies in India, viz. CIBIL, Experian or Equifax, and request for a copy of your credit report. Since the operation of each reporting bureau is independent, the information on a credit report from each agency may differ slightly, making it instrumental for you to ensure that the details and information therein is accurate and consistent.
- Bring Inaccuracies to the Credit Reporting Agency’s Attention in Writing
Errors notices in your credit reports must be brought to the credit agency’s attention immediately. The agency must be notified through a letter after which the individual must also fill out the online dispute application. The name of the individual and his / her address must be mentioned in the letter and each inaccurate item in the report must be accompanied by evidence in the form of documents, information and / or facts proving how the information is incomplete or inaccurate. A copy of your credit report must be enclosed with the letter and the information you wish to dispute must be circled. Finally, a formal request must be made to have the information in question corrected or removed.
Apart from bringing the inaccuracies to the attention of the credit bureau, individuals with errors in their credit reports must also send a letter containing a comprehensive explanation of the issue to the source of the information you dispute. The source could be any person, organisation or company that offered your details to the credit reporting agencies. The agency as well as the provider of your details will be equally responsible for making corrections to the details in your credit report.
- Await their Response
Once you have filled in the dispute application and sent the same to the credit reporting agency along with the letter mentioning the issues, the agency will respond to you within 45 days after investigating your claims. The bureau/s will investigate your claims by contacting the source and requesting them to inspect the information. If they have any findings, they will report the same to the credit reporting agency and in case the information is actually erroneous, the course will notify each of the three bureaus to facilitate the correction of the reported errors.
The bureau to whom you first sent the letter will get in touch with you to inform you of the result. In most cases, the agency / bureau usually sends a response in writing, and if the issue you raised against the inaccuracy of your credit report turns out to be right, a corrected version of your credit report will be sent to you. Individuals can also request the bureau to send the amended version of their credit report to anyone who assessed their credit report over the last half year.
Misreported information and errors on your credit report can be corrected with relative ease if you have the required proof to make your claim. It is essential to be detailed in your explanation and provide all the evidence you have to support your claim. It is also important to be as authoritative with your request as possible as it urges the representatives of the bureau / agency to process the corrections sooner.