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How Do I Update or Dispute Information on My Credit Report?

Your credit report, in a nutshell, is a history of how you’re using and have used credit. It provides a snapshot of your financial history. It’s one of the main ways lenders, such as banks and credit cards, assess you before approving your credit application. Your credit report includes important information, such as your name, address history, social insurance number (SIN), telephone number, date of birth, employment history, credit history, public records (bankruptcies or judgments) and any credit inquiries.

So, you check your credit report and see an error or something that’s out of date. How do you update and dispute this information? Read on to find out.

How Do Errors Occur On Your Credit Report?

Although errors don’t happen very often, you’ll want to take steps to correct them when they do occur. Before we discuss correcting errors on your credit report, it helps to talk about how errors happen.

Here are some common reasons why errors or inaccuracies may occur:

  • You made credit applications under different names (i.e. Rick Cooper, Rich Cooper, Richard Cooper, etc.).
  • Your lender made a data entry error when typing in your personal information, such as your name or address.
  • You provided an incorrect SIN or your lender mistyped your SIN.
  • Credit payments were applied to the incorrect credit account.
How Do You Spot Errors on Your Credit Reports?

The easiest way to spot an error on your credit report is to regularly review it.

There are two major credit reporting agencies: Equifax and TransUnion. You can request your credit report for free once every 12 months from each. It’s advisable that you order a copy of each, as each credit reporting agencies might have slightly different information for you.

Here’s how to order your credit report by mail:
  • Make your request in writing using the forms provided by Equifax and TransUnion
  • You must provide copies of two pieces of ID, such as a driver’s licence or passport
  • You’ll receive your credit report by mail

Here’s how to order your credit report by telephone:

  • Call the credit bureau and follow the instructions
    • Equifax Canada

Tel: 1-800-465-7166

  • TransUnion Canada

Tel: 1-800-663-9980

  • Confirm your identity by answering a series of personal and financial questions
  • You may also need to provide your SIN and your credit card number to confirm your identity
  • You’ll receive your credit report by mail
Fixing an Error on Your Credit Report

You’ve spotted an error or an outdated piece of information and you want to update it. Here’s how.

  1. Gather documentations relating to your credit dispute. You may be asked to provide it to support your claim.
  2. Contact the credit reporting agency with the error or outdated information and request for it to be corrected and updated. Both Equifax and TransUnion have their own forms for correcting errors.
  3. You may be able to speed up the process by contacting the lender directly to have the error or information corrected.

There you have it. All the steps you need to update and dispute information your credit report. By getting into the habit of regularly reviewing your credit report, you can spot errors and get them corrected right away.

About the Author

Sean Cooper is the bestselling author of the book, Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians. He bought his first house when he was only 27 in Toronto and paid off his mortgage in just 3 years by age 30. An in-demand Personal Finance Journalist, Money Coach and Speaker, his articles and blogs have been featured in publications such as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Financial Post and MoneySense. Connect with Sean on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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