Your credit report is one of the most important documents out there. It’s beneficial in helping you secure loans or qualify for financial services. It’s the definitive document that outlines your entire credit and financial history, as well as existing debt, bankruptcy, late or pending payments and available credit.
To ensure that your credit report comes in handy in securing lines of credit in the future, you’ll want to ensure your account is as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Unfortunately, errors can creep into your report, but luckily, they aren’t tough to clear up. Just make sure to correct the mistakes speedily so as not to impact your credit score negatively.
Interested in learning how to remove errors from your credit report? In this article, we walk you through the main ways to safeguard your credit score.
How to Get Your Report
Let’s start with the basics. Retrieve a copy of your entire report from Equifax or TransUnion, Canada’s two main credit bureaus. You can request a free copy of your credit reports every twelve months. Be sure to check your account each time to ensure that the information presented is correct and up to date.
Track Any Discrepancies
Once you have your credit report with you, it’s time to check the description for any errors. Start with the basic personal information presented. For example, check your name, registered mobile number and address.
Many people skip checking these basics, but you should get any errors in account information corrected quickly. This will ensure that your information lines up with other necessary documents like bank statements, rental applications, debt consolidation efforts and more.
After you’re done verifying your personal information, go through your credit lines to ensure everything is accurate. Some factors to double check include:
- Closed accounts
- Loan and repayment amounts
- Removal of old debts
- Opened accounts
The last point is significant, as accounts can potentially be opened under your name by someone else. This can lead to identity theft issues, in which case it’s always better to clarify upfront to avoid problems down the line.
Correcting Errors / File a Dispute
Both Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada have forms for correcting errors and updating information.Before any credit bureau can change information on your report, they will investigate your claim. They will check with the lender that reported the information and if it is found to be an error they will update your credit report. The best way to do this is to report to the credit bureau in writing so they can provide a written response.
If the lender confirms that the information is correct, the credit bureau will leave your report unchanged.
You can ask to speak with a higher level if you’re not satisfied with the results of the investigation.
Federally regulated institutions must have complaint-handling procedures to resolve disputes with consumers. This procedure includes a third-party dispute-resolution body. In Ontario this body for lodging a complaint about a credit bureau would be called Consumer Protection Ontario.
Write a Goodwill Letter
In a case where the information is not an error. A goodwill letter could convince a creditor to correct an issue or negative report. Considering that the negative occurrence can impact so much of your financial future, it is worth requesting your creditor or collection agency for assistance.
In your letter, you can explain why you were late on your payments, stating reasons for the negative occurrence. You can then assure them there will be no more late payments. Lastly, respectfully request them to delete the incidence of late payment or other defaulting action as you will no longer be missing any more payments. This can be a speedier way to get your issues resolved as opposed to filing disputes or claims.
File a Complaint
Sometimes, it can be the case that you don’t hear back from your creditors, even after filing a dispute. If you have noticed errors on your report that are yet to be resolved, you can refer to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. This authority offers ways to dispute inaccuracies from credit card companies, financial institutions and financial agencies. This is a great way to get the notice of your creditors if they haven’t shown any signs of resolving your issue. However, this strategy might take some time, as documents need to be processed. Hence, it is better to file your complaint sooner rather than later.
Your credit score impacts almost every aspect of your financial life. Your eligibility for loans, houses and even job opportunities can come under question with bad credit. So, it’s important to remove any negative information that can lead to your application being denied or that line of credit getting cancelled. Be sure to use the above tips to remove the errors and reap the benefits of an accurate credit report.
If you’re struggling with bankruptcy or debt issues in Toronto, be sure to check out Kevin Thatcher and Associates. Our friendly team of expert professionals will help you sort out any credit report issues, thus paving the way to healthy finances quickly.
To learn more about removing errors from your credit report, call Kevin Thatcher & Associates at 1-888-702-9801 or contact us here.