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How to Fix a Credit Report Error

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Fix a Credit Report Error

Fixing Errors on your Credit Report can be tricky! 

Do you know that there are two national credit bureaus in Canada? These bureaus are Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. Both credit-reporting agencies can provide you with access to your credit report and credit score. It’s very important that you regularly review these reports. Once a year is recommended.

Not only does reviewing your credit report provide you with important information on your credit score, but it also lets you check your report for errors. Yes, there are errors. Depending on who you ask, between 10 and 33 percent of credit files have errors in them. They range from typos and data entry errors to one person’s credit activities being posted to someone else’s report who has a similar name.

As you can imagine, a credit report error is a big deal and it can be very damaging. Credit reports are frequently accessed whenever you need to borrow money, get a mortgage, rent an apartment, get a job and for many other reasons. This is why it is important to spot these credit report errors and to have them corrected!

The process starts with getting a copy of your credit report.

Getting a Copy of your Credit Report

In order to check your credit report for errors, you’ll need to get a copy of it. This can be done in a number of different ways. Both Equifax and TransUnion will give you a copy of your credit report for free by mail. To do this, you’ll need to contact each bureau and provide them with the identification and background information that they need in order to verify your identity. They will then mail you a copy of the report.

If you need to access your credit report quickly or if you don’t want to wait for the mail, you can get an instant credit report online from both bureaus. However, both Equifax and TransUnion charge a fee for an instant online report.

Correcting a Credit Report Error

If you’ve reviewed your credit report and found an error, there are a couple of things that you can do to attempt to correct the error.

  • Write the credit agency that listed the error and tell them that there is a mistake
    • If you’ve received your credit report by mail, a form to report any errors may have been included with the report. If it isn’t, or if you viewed your report online, you can find the dispute forms on the credit bureau’s website.
  • Send the bureau copies of any documents that support your argument
    • For example, if the credit bureau lists a loan that you have paid off as outstanding, you will want to send them documentation that shows that the loan has been paid in full.
  • The bureau will review the details you provide in an attempt to resolve the problem
    • If needed, the credit bureau will contact the source of the information to verify that your statements are correct.

If your credit report is changed by the bureau, you will receive an updated report. In addition, any company that requested your credit report in the last two months will also be sent the corrected report.

If your report is not changed as you would like it to be, you have the option of adding a brief statement to your credit report that explains your side of the situation. You can then ask to have the report, along with your statement, sent to any company that requested your credit report in the past two months.

You can also contact the Provincial or Federal Privacy Commission to lodge a complaint.

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