Did you know that you can get your credit report for free? There are so many things that people don’t know about their credit reports, but don’t worry because we are here to help educate you. In this article, we’ll be going through why errors on your credit report matter and options on how to fix any errors displayed.
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a statement that contains information regarding your current credit situation and activity. Your credit report is a record of how well you manage your credit and checking it often allows you to better understand what your lenders can see when they consider your applications for loans or credit. To learn more about your credit report, including the differences between credit score and rating, click here.
Contact the Credit Bureaus
TransUnion Canada and Equifax have forms for correcting errors as well as updating any incorrect information. Before they can change any information pertaining to your credit account, they are required to investigate your claim. They go about this by checking the information the lender provided, if the lender agrees there is an error your report will be updated. However, if it is confirmed the information on your report is corrected, they are not required to change anything. Signing up for Credit karma and Borrowell could be a great option to manage your credit, both companies are owned by TransUnion and Equifax. These are both free to use, user friendly and you can dispute via these websites as well.
Fix Errors on Your Credit Report
Any errors made may lead to an improper impression or evaluation of how responsible you are with credit. Even errors that seem minor, such as a misspelled name or a wrong address, could cause problems when you apply for credit.
It is your right to dispute any information on your credit report that you believe to be incorrect. Check your credit report at least once a year for errors and any signs of identity theft. You can always ask the credit reporting agencies to correct errors, and its free!
Things to Look Out for on Your Credit Report
When going through your credit report, look out for these common errors:
- negative information about your accounts that’s listed after the maximum number of years it is allowed to stay on your report
- mistakes in personal information, such as the wrong date of birth or mailing address
- accounts listed that you have not opened, this could be a sign of identity theft
- errors in your credit accounts, such as payments show as late when they were paid on time
What cannot be Changed on a Credit Report?
There are a few things that cannot be changed on your credit report. Information related to the credit account, for example if you missed payments on a loan or a credit card paying the debt in full or closing the account will not remove negative history. Negative information will also only be removed after a certain amount of time. Credit repair companies that claim they can eliminate negative information “for a fee” is something to stay away from as this is not possible unless the negative information is false.
Gather all information pertaining to the incorrect information provided including statements, receipts and any other documents related to your credit accounts. It is likely that you will have to prove your claim.
Contacting your creditors
This process can be long, with lots of waiting for new information. If you want the process to move along quicker contacting the creditor about any errors yourself may be the quickest way to get thing fixed. The creditor is the company you owe money to, if things have been fixed personally it is a good idea to ask the creditors to verify their files and provide the credit bureaus with updated information.
Stand Your Ground
Dealing with creditors may be tricky sometimes, if you are unhappy with the outcome of the investigation on your credit report it is always an option to speak to someone of higher authority at your financial institution. majority of financial institutions must have a complaint handing procedure to resolve disputes between clients and their financial institutions. Contacting an Alberta ombudsman may be another good option. An ombudsman works to protect Albertans by responding to complaints of unfair treatment by provincial government authorities. They operate under the ombudsman act to conduct independent investigations, promote standards of fairness and when necessary, make recommendations to improve administrative process.
If the information in your credit report is confirmed as accurate but you are still not satisfied, you can submit a brief statement and add it to your credit report explaining your situation. Anyone who views your credit report may consider your consumer statement when making final decisions.
In conclusion, ensuring all the information on your credit report is correct is a very important step to take. Some mistakes made may be minor, but they can still harm your chances at a good credit, in order to avoid any errors be sure to stay educated on your credit report. If you are ever unsure or feel as though you need more guidance don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.