Steps to rectify errors in your credit report

Errors in credit reports can be a common occurrence. It can range from incorrect personal information to wrong credit accounts. These errors can adversely affect your credit score which will further hamper your chances of getting a loan or credit card approval. This makes knowing how to rectify errors in your credit report important. You should rectify the errors at the earliest to avoid further problems. Let’s look at some of the common errors in your credit report before starting with the steps to rectify errors in it.

Types of errors in your credit report-

The errors on credit report can be of various types. However, here are some types of common errors in your credit report that you need to watch out for:

  1. Identity-related errors:
    • Identity mistakes such as an incorrect name, phone number, address or PAN number
    • Mixing of identity information with someone with the same or similar name
  2. Account related errors:
    • A closed account that’s still being reported as open
    • A new account not showing at all
    • Accounts that are incorrectly reported as defaulted
    • Incorrect date of EMI payment, or incorrect showing of late payment
    • An account listed more than once with different creditors
    • Showing those accounts which are very old
  3. Balance related errors:
    • Incorrect account balances
    • Inaccurate credit limits

However, this is important to note that any kind of information update will take at least two months. So, an account which is not older than 2 months might not reflect in your report. Also, an account might reflect incorrect balances because it has not been updated yet.

Step 1: Review your credit report

Checking your credit score regularly and reviewing your credit report annually are two key things that can help you to rectify errors and make sure that everything is accurate in your report. For your convenience, the credit bureaus i.e. TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian give you a free copy of your report once a year where you can see your credit scores and view the information contained in the reports.

Step 2: Contact your credit bureau to fix the errors in your credit report

After reviewing your credit report, if you've noticed an error, it's essential to fix the problem as soon as possible. For this, you need to contact the credit bureau from where the report was generated. To start with the dispute process, first, you need to obtain an online dispute form from the respective credit bureau’s official website. Fill up the necessary information in the form and send it to the bureau.

Step 3: Review and submit the dispute form

Double-check your dispute request, revise the details if you wish before submitting the form. You'll see a confirmation page when the dispute is filed successfully. You can use an "Upload a document" link to submit scanned pages to support your dispute such as a copy of an email verifying the status of the account that's reported incorrectly.

Step 4: Wait for the credit bureau response to your credit report dispute

The credit bureau generally has 30-45 days after receiving your dispute to investigate and verify information with the furnisher. After that, the credit bureau will also report the results back to you within five days of completing its investigation.

Step 5: Review the results of the investigation

After the investigation is complete, the credit bureau involved must provide you with results of the investigation in writing and also a free copy of your credit report if the dispute results in a change to that report. The credit bureau must also provide you with the name, address and phone number of the furnisher that reported the incorrect information. If a furnisher continues to report a disputed item, it is required to notify the credit bureau involved about your dispute. If the disputed information is found to be inaccurate, the furnisher must tell the credit bureau to update or delete the item. The furnisher must also notify all the credit bureaus to which it sent the incorrect information so that the bureaus can correct their records.

Step 6: Check for updates to your credit report

Updates to your credit report may take some time to reflect as it depends on the specific credit bureau's update cycle and when the furnisher sends the new information to the credit bureau. If the update doesn’t appear on your credit reports within several months, then you need to contact the credit bureaus and the furnisher for the same.

Bottom Line

Disputing errors on your credit report on time is crucial. It can help improve your credit health and your chances of loan and credit card approval. Therefore, it is recommended to check your credit reports frequently so that you may keep an eye on your credit score and the accuracy of the information mentioned in your credit report.