Your credit score is an evaluation of your borrowing history and is a key component in determining if a lender is willing to grant you a loan or mortgage. So what happens when you think you’ve been a reasonable borrower but that’s not reflected in your credit score? Read on to find out how to deal with errors in your credit history.
Finding an error in your credit history
You likely won’t know there’s anything wrong with your credit report until you try to borrow money from a lender. If your credit score is too low and you pose a lending risk (whether real or by mistake) the lender will reject your application for a loan or only agree to a loan by increasing your interest rate. If you think that you’ve been wrongly categorized as a financial risk, you should begin by obtaining a copy of your credit report. You can request a copy of your credit report from Canada’s credit bureaus, Equifax Canada and Transunion Canada. Reading over your credit report should confirm or deny your suspicions of an error in your history.
What are some causes for errors?
Common causes for errors in your credit history are attributable to cases of mistaken identity. There have been incidences where the actions of someone with a similar name to yours can falsely impact your credit history. A more common and less benign cause of an error in your credit history is identity theft. The incidence of identity theft has been on the rise in Canada and protecting yourself has never been more important. To be prudent you should check your credit history once per year to ensure there hasn’t been any suspicious activity; the sooner you spot identity theft the easier it will be to remedy.
How Do I fix an error?
Once you’ve identified what you think might be an error, you’ll need to contact the institution that falsely submitted the report and file an investigation request to the credit bureaus. Each institution has their own policy for investigating claims of fraud. If you feel that your concern is not being taken seriously you should contact a lawyer practiced in fraud and/or your local police department.