Getting a loan or credit card today depends on the contents of one key document – the credit report. This document is compiled by credit bureaus based on data received from lenders across India and provides insight into how you have handled debt in the form of credit cards and loans in the past.
A key feature of your credit report is the all-important credit score. Based on your track record i.e. credit report data, a statistical model assigns you a score – a 3 digit number between 300 and 900 (higher scores are better for loan seekers), which sums up your past credit behavior. In India, 4 companies generate credit reports and scores – CIBIL TransUnion, Experian India, Equifax India and CRIF HighMark. Each of these companies uses a different scoring model and hence your score will vary depending on who your credit score provider is.
Why Errors Might Occur in Your Credit Report
As mentioned earlier, your credit report is a compilation of data collected from various lenders and sometimes errors can occur when your current loan/credit card status is reported by a bank or NBFC. While a majority of these errors are small like a wrong phone number or a wrong payable balance showing up on your credit card account for a previous month, there are a few that you need to be wary of. For example, an open loan account may be showing as closed or a credit card that you do not have is showing on your credit report. In such cases, it is important to get the errors rectified at the earliest as these could adversely impact your credit score.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how credit report errors get corrected
Step 1. Fill out the dispute form and submit it online. Each credit agency has its own website and its own unique dispute form. Therefore, if it is your Experian score that is erroneous, ensure that you fill out and submit the form available on the Experian India website.
Step 2. Once the credit bureau verifies that your claim has merit, they will send your file and the error information provided by you to the concerned lender bank or NBFC for further investigation.
Step 3. Once the dispute information reaches the bank or NBFC, they perform a search of their internal records to confirm if a reporting error has indeed occurred. In either case, the lender will get in touch with the credit bureau with their report whether there is in fact an error or not. In case there is no error, the credit bureau will contact you with details of the bank/NBFC records.
Step 4. In case, the internal records of the lender show that there is indeed a reporting error, they will perform an internal investigation and send the correct details to the credit bureau in question. Additionally, the lender is also required to update its records of the same with all credit bureaus in India.
Step 5. On receiving the updated details, the credit bureau you submitted the dispute request with, will get the information corrected and share the error-free credit report with you. In case you feel that there is still an error, you can raise another dispute request with the credit bureau at a later date.