In a 4 Step Guide To Errors In Your Credit Bureau Report you read about Credit Bureaus, what affects your credit bureau report and why it is important to maintain a positive credit history. We now look at the errors or mistakes that creep onto our credit bureau report and how you can resolve them. Your credit bureau score is very important when it comes to availing a loan from banks or digital lending platforms. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure that an error prone report does not hamper your loan approval chances.
A credit bureau score is a 3 digit numeric score that ranges between 300 and 900. The higher your credit score, the better your chances to get a loan approved. A good credit score indicates that you have been a prompt with your EMI payments, spending via your credit card wisely and maintaining a good balance between different types of loans.
Banks seek your credit reports to ascertain your capacity to repay the loan. Since incorrect information can affect your chances of availing credit, it is important to ensure the accuracy of your credit report. Human errors are bound to occur. The bank can err while sending your credit information to the credit bureau. The credit bureau can update the same incorrect information onto their database or enter wrong information onto their systems.
Errors on your credit bureau report
As per Section 21 of the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act of 2005, you can apply at a credit institution to furnish a copy of your credit information. In case the bank informs you that your loan application is rejected based on your credit report, you can ask the bank to provide you a copy of the same.
It is a good practice to apply for a credit report directly from a credit bureau to look for any errors before you apply for a loan. This not only helps in looking out for errors, preempting any loan issues and also gauging spending patterns and repayment responsibilities.
The credit bureau report consists of information pertaining to 5 sections – Personal, Contact, Employment, Account/Credit and Enquiry.
- Personal information errors – Your name can be misspelt on the report. Suppose for e.g. your name is ‘Ram Krishnan’ but the report shows the name as ‘Ram Krishna’. Your date of birth, passport number, income tax ID number, voters ID number could be rearranged leading to an error. Your gender could be wrongly declared.
- Contact information errors – Errors here could include quoting your old address, the State you live in being declared incorrectly. Pin code mentioned could be rearranged or incorrect.
- Employment information errors – The report might still be showing you working for your previous organization. Your monthly salary may not be updated; your current organization work period could be incorrect etc.
- Account or Credit information – The credit type could be incorrect – Instead of a home loan, a personal loan could be mentioned. The sanctioning date for a loan could be wrong, a previous sanctioned loan amount could be incorrect, the status for a loan could show ‘pending’ even if cleared, etc.
- Enquiries – The number of times you applied for a loan could be incorrect. You might have applied for a credit bureau report only once before but it could show up on the report as 2 or more. Keep in mind that too many enquiries can affect the report badly.
- Miscellaneous errors – Inaccuracy in current outstanding balance towards your credit card, multiple accounts registered in your name, the report generated is not yours but somebody else’s etc.
Filing an online dispute
Once you have identified an error in your credit bureau report, bring it to the attention of the bureau immediately. You notify the bureau first by sending them a letter, and then fill up the online dispute form. Your name and correct address should be mentioned on the letter and the error(s) along with evidence in the form of documents or receipts to prove that the information in the report is inaccurate or incomplete. Also attach a copy of your credit report.
When filling the online dispute form, you will need to have the Control Number. The control number is a 9 digit number found on the top right of your credit bureau report. It is generated every time a report is requested (either by the bank or by an individual). This number helps the bureau in tracking and identifying the report in dispute. You can either dispute the report ownership or the fields of an account or enquiry. You can dispute multiple fields of your report through a single dispute form.
Post the dispute filing
- Once you submit the Online Dispute Form, the bureau will assign you a Dispute ID. This ID is sent to you via email and can be used for any future references with regards to the dispute clearance.
- The first thing that the bureau does is to verify and rectify the details on its own. If it is unable to do so, the bureau will forward the dispute request to the loan provider or credit card issuing company.
- The loan provider or credit card issuing company will check their internal records to verify if the error has indeed happened at their end. The loan provider will then update the bureau whether the information has been corrected or did not need to be corrected.
- The bureau then updates the report and informs you.
- If you feel there is still an error, you will have to raise another dispute request with the bureau.
The bureau does not make any changes to your information on its own. It is only a custodian of the information received from different credit institutions. It takes approximately 30 days to resolve the dispute request but again dependent on request to request.
It is possible for errors on your credit report to be corrected systematically if you have the proof to support your dispute claim. Ensure you put down a detailed explanation of all the evidence when you file your claim.