Different Types of Credit Report Errors and How to Fix Them_Banner_WC

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Different Types of Credit Report Errors and How to Fix Them_WC

4 min 11 Jul 2023
Highlights:
  • Common Types of Credit Report Errors
  • How to Dispute Credit Report Errors?

If you are planning to apply for a loan, check your credit report and go ahead with the loan application process once you have the required CIBIL score for a Home Loan. In general, lenders require borrowers to have a credit score of at least 750. Such a credit score is the mark of a creditworthy borrower who can be trusted with loan repayment.  

Borrowers who do not pay loan EMIs on time, borrow more than they can easily repay, and have a high amount of debt have a low credit score. Lenders may not want to extend a loan to such applicants. Loan approval, therefore, may not come easy for such borrowers. However, sometimes, when borrowers check their CIBIL score online, their credit report shows a low score, even when they have never defaulted on loan payments and in general, have a healthy and responsible attitude towards credit. This happens due to credit report errors. 

Credit information bureaus assign credit scores to borrowers based on the information supplied to them about the borrower by financial institutions and commercial lenders. Since lenders and financial institutions maintain records of millions of customers, it is not uncommon for them to pass wrong information about a borrower to credit information bureaus. Credit report errors arise due to misinformation or wrong information passed on to credit information bureaus by lenders. Borrowers and loan applicants are advised to check their credit report regularly and make sure there are no errors in it as errors can make it difficult for loan applicants to get approved for a loan, especially if the error is such that it is directly impacting the borrower's credit score in a negative way or making it difficult for the lenders to access the borrower's credit profile.  

Let us look at some of the most common types of errors that creep into credit reports. 

Common Types of Credit Report Errors 

1. Incorrect Personal Information  

Your credit report is an electronic representation of all the loans you had availed of and have successfully repaid and all the loan accounts you currently have. It contains information about you, such as your name and address, that helps lenders identify you as a borrower. When the personal information provided in the credit report is inaccurate, it becomes difficult for lenders to identify you. This could also lead to your credit profile getting mixed up with another borrower. Therefore, borrowers must check their credit report from time to time and make sure that all the personal information provided in their credit report is correct.  

2. Incorrect Account Information  

The credit report also contains information about all the accounts that you currently have. Sometimes, account-related errors also creep into the credit report. For instance, sometimes open accounts get reported as closed and closed accounts get reported as open. Similarly, sometimes, borrowers are labelled as owners of an account even when they are just authorized users. Such errors have a direct bearing on a borrower's credit score and therefore, borrowers must make sure there are no account-related errors in a borrower's credit report. 

3. Incorrect Credit Limits  

Not just your loan accounts but your credit cards and how you use them also affects your credit score. Sometimes, credit reports show wrong credit limits for different accounts. This impacts a borrower's credit score because the credit limit has a direct impact on a borrower's credit utilization ratio, which in turn, makes up almost 30% of a borrower's credit score. Borrowers must, therefore, make sure that when they check CIBIL score, the credit limit for different loan accounts is correct.  

4. Duplicate Accounts  

Duplicate accounts refer to cases when the same account, loan or debt is listed more than once. Once again this impacts a borrower's credit score as it impacts their debt-to-income ratio, etc. 

5. Fraudulent Accounts  

Sometimes, lenders and financial institutions pass on information which leads to a borrower having accounts on their credit report that they do not even own or are responsible for. Similarly, sometimes, credit reports contain transactions that a borrower has never made. These errors are categorized under fraudulent accounts category. When borrowers check CIBIL online, they must make sure their credit report has no fraudulent accounts on it.

6. Incorrect Credit Report

A common credit report error is loan accounts that have already been closed by the borrower appearing as open in the credit report. This is one of those errors that has a major impact on a borrower's credit score.  

7. Incorrect Loan Delinquency

Another error that impacts a borrower's credit report or CIBIL for home loan is when certain accounts are reported as delinquent or in collection even when they borrower has made all repayments on time. Loan delinquency is a major concern. Borrowers who repeatedly do not pay loan EMIs on time or default on loan repayment are deemed highly risky and therefore, no lender lends money to such borrowers. If your credit report shows loan accounts that have already been repaid as delinquent, act immediately. This credit report error can bring down a borrower's credit score by almost 100 points and completely ruin their chances of availing of a loan.  

8. Incorrect Repayment Hisotry

Lastly, sometimes lenders pass wrong information about a borrower's repayment history. This leads to a borrower having a low CIBIL score even when they have repaid all loan EMIs and credit card bills on time. Incorrectly reported late payments do not impact a borrower's credit score the way incorrectly reported loan delinquencies do, but they most certainly also have a negatively impact on a borrower's credit score and their eligibility for loans. 

Credit report errors can completely ruin one's chances of loan approval. Therefore, borrowers must check CIBIL score at least once every six months and make sure their credit report has no errors in it. If they see any errors in the report, they must raise a dispute with the concerned credit information agency. Let us look at how borrowers can dispute credit report errors.  

Read Also: How to Check CIBIL Score Online by PAN Card for Free 

How Can You Fix Credit Report Errors?  

On checking your credit report, if you find that there is an error in your report which has caused your CIBIL score to drop down, act immediately. Report the error to the concerned credit information bureau by filing a dispute. Here's what you can do to dispute credit report errors.  

  • If your CIBIL score has dropped down even you have paid all EMIs on time and have been a disciplined credit user, the first thing you must do is write to the concerned credit information bureau and ask them for a detailed copy of your credit report. Once you have your credit report, go through all the information and scan the report for any kind of credit report error that might be bringing down your credit score.  
  • If you do see an error in your report, collect all the documentation that you will need to submit while reporting the discrepancy in your credit report. 
  • Once you have all the documentation, raise a dispute. You can do so either by writing a letter to the concerned credit information bureau or filing out a dispute form.  
  • Please note that no credit information bureau can act on your complaint on its own. When you report an error, and submit supporting documents to prove your claim, the credit information bureau you have written to will contact your lender or the financial institution that has passed on the wrong information and seek clarification. Only after the lender/financial institution applies will the credit information bureau make changes to your credit report.  
  • When credit information bureaus write to a lender, it is mandatory for them to reply to the query within 30 days. Once the lender replies to the query, the credit information bureau will forward the response to you. If you are happy with the response, the credit information bureau will make changes to your credit report and the application will be considered closed. If you are not happy with the response, you can raise another dispute.  
  • The whole process takes anywhere around 45 days. So, borrowers are advised to remain patient.  

In most cases, credit report errors get resolved quickly. However, sometimes, the dispute is denied. What should a borrower do in this case? If your credit report error dispute is denied, you can either submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or seek legal representation. However, in most cases, it never comes to this and credit report errors get resolved quickly and easily. 

Final Words

Borrowers planning to apply for a loan of any kind should have a good credit score. A good credit score convinces a lender of a borrower's repayment capacity and creditworthiness. Thus, when borrowers have a high credit score, lenders not only approve their loan application quickly but also offer them loans at competitive interest rates and better loan terms and conditions, such as long repayment tenor and higher loan sanctions.  

Therefore, borrowers are advised to check their CIBIL score online (TransUnion CIBIL is the most famous credit information bureau in India and the CIBIL score it assigns borrowers is known as the CIBIL score) and apply for a Home Loan when their CIBIL score is at least 750. If their credit score is 750, they should apply for a loan only after improving their credit score. However, the credit score does not always go down due to the mistakes of borrowers.  

Sometimes, financial institutions and lenders may pass wrong information to credit information bureaus, which in turn, leads to a borrower's credit score going down. Therefore, borrowers are advised to check their credit report from time to time and make sure there are no errors in their report which are bringing down their credit score. If they see any errors, they must report them immediately and get them rectified as soon as possible as credit report errors can negatively impact one's chances of Home Loan approval. 

Different Types of Credit Report Errors and How to Fix Them_FAQ_WC

FAQs

Borrowers can check their credit report as often as they want. Ideally, they should check their credit report at least once every six months. If you use TransUnion CIBIL, please know that you must pay a subscription fee to be able to access your credit report. Based on the subscription plan you have chosen and the fee you have paid, TransUnion CIBIL will send you your credit report once, on a six-monthly or monthly basis. If you are planning to apply for a loan soon, you must check your credit report every three months and make sure there are no errors in it and your credit score is also at least 750, if not more. 

Every time a borrower applies for a loan, the first thing that a lender does is check the borrower's CIBIL score to assess their repayment capacity and creditworthiness. Every time a lender checks a borrower's CIBIL score, the enquiry made by them gets registered as a hard enquiry. Too many hard enquiries portray a borrower to be credit hungry or excessively dependent on credit and are therefore seen as something negative. Too many hard enquiries bring down a borrower's credit score. 

On the other hand, when a borrower checks their credit score, it is known as a soft enquiry. Soft enquiries do not have any impact on a borrower's credit score. Borrowers can check CIBIL score as many times as they want and their credit score won't get affected. However, they must refrain from applying for too many loans and credit cards, especially if they plan to apply for a loan any time soon.

Yes, borrowers can dispute credit report errors online. If your credit report has an error, there are two ways in which you can get them rectified. The first method requires you to write a letter to the concerned credit information bureau. The second method involves filling out an online dispute form. 

Credit report errors won't stay on your credit report for far too long if you report them as soon as you see them. Please note that after you raise a credit report error dispute, the concerned credit information bureau will write to the concerned lender or financial institution seeking clarification. The lender/financial institution will have 30 days to reply to the query made by the credit information bureau. Once the credit bureau receives a reply from the lender, they will forward it to you. If you are happy with the answer, the credit information bureau will update your report. In general, rectifying errors takes up to 48 days and it takes another few days for the changes made by the credit information agency to reflect in your credit report. So, after you have spotted an error in your credit report and reported it immediately, expect it to stay there for about 2 months. This is the reason why borrowers are asked to check their credit report at least once every six months and make sure there are no errors in it. If a borrower plans to apply for a loan anytime soon, they must check their credit report more often, say once every three months and scan it for credit report errors every single time.

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