Over October we learned what impacts our credit score. One of the most frustrating is an error on your credit report. The latest numbers are that 1 in 5 credit reports has an error in it. This costs you money in higher interest rates, insurance premiums, or every resulted in denied credit.
It is important to check your credit score and report regularly. It is a measure of your financial health and important to know where you stand. Your credit score can be obtained from Credit Karma for free. And you can request your credit report from each of TransUnion and Equifax once a year. Do not be scared into buying any of the credit agencies services – you don’t need them. Request a free report by mail.
With your credit report in front of you read through it carefully. The most common errors to look for are:
To review your credit report:
- Order your FREE credit report (Equifax and TransUnion)
- Review every line carefully
- Report any errors – it is the credit agencies responsibility to investigate and correct errors. You will receive a confirmation notice that the error has been fixed. Check your credit report again in six months using the other agency for another free report.
Wait I found an error! What do I do?
Great job! Your time was well spent. Listed in the order you should do them (and you can spot at any point once it is resolved):
- Call the credit rating agency or use their online tool. Flag the error to them and ask what information you need to provide them to dispute it. Use registered mail to formally notify them of the error and provide documentation. It is their responsibility to investigate and resolve it.
Online disputes information
Tel: 1-866-525-0262 (For all residents except Quebec)
Tel: 1-877-713-3393 (For Quebec residents)
Online disputes information
- Inform the information provider (the company displaying the inaccurate information) that there is an error. Again you should call them to inform them and ask what they need. Use registered mail to formally notify them and send supporting information.
- If you haven’t been able to get the negative information removed you have the right to ad a personal statement. Write it succinctly and carefully. Remember to have it removed once the negative information is removed.
- If the error cannot be resolved consider informing the appropriate government bodies (in the links below).
We talked about a number of different companies and agencies. Hopefully you never have to use them but just in case:
The Office of Consumer Affairs
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Provincial Privacy Commissioner for:
Federal Privacy Commissioner (all other provinces and territories)
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)
Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Consumer Affairs Office