Equifax is one of the three major credit bureaus situated in the USA. Equifax can be used to run your credit history. Equifax reports look at:
- Your open lines of credit,
- Your payment history, and
- Loan history and more.
Your credit score is important. What happens when something that does not belong on your credit report ends up on it? This can negatively affect your score.
How To Understand Your Equifax Report?
To be able to identify errors in your Equifax report, first understand what it contains:
- Credit inquiries (or screenings)
- Account details,
- Your personal information, which includes your employment data, social security number, date of birth, and address.
- Public records and collections, along with bankruptcies, tax liens, suits, foreclosures, and more.
How To Review Your Equifax Report?
To review your Equifax report, keep an eye out for the following:
- Accounts you are unaware of or did not open.
- Incorrect payment history.
- Credit inquiries you are unaware of and/or did not request.
- Errors in names, account information, or credit and loan limits.
- Collections and public records.
Methods Available For Disputing Your Credit Report Information Held By Equifax?
You can your dispute Equifax report by:
- Online, or
- Phone call
Dispute Your Equifax Report by Mail
You will want to write a letter to Equifax clearly outlining what the error is and why you are filing the dispute. You need to include the following when writing a dispute letter to Equifax:
- Your verified report number,
- Your full name,
- Current address,
- Date of birth,
- Social security number,
- The company that reported the inaccurate information to Experian,
- The account number of the item being disputed,
- Your reason for filing the dispute,
- Any personal information updated on file, and
- Hard copy of your annotated credit report.
Ensure you send your dispute letter to:
Consumer Dispute Center
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
You should send your dispute letter by certified mail, that way you can verify and track its arrival.
Dispute Your Equifax Report Online
Take the following steps to submit a dispute with Equifax online:
- First, fill out your identity information on the authentication page of Equifax,
- Answer the four verification questions associated with your credit file,
- Select the“Dispute Item” category below the item you with to dispute,
- All available supporting documentation must be uploaded before you continue, and then
- Review the claim before you submit your dispute to verify all the details are correctly entered before submitting the dispute.
Upon submitting the dispute, be sure to record the 10-digit number that will appear. This 10-digit number will allow you to see progress on your dispute online.
Dispute Your Equifax Report by Phone
File disputes by telephone, by:
- Calling the Equifax dispute phone number at 1-866-349-5191. The call centres operate from Monday- Friday from 8 am - 8 pm EST.
- Have your Equifax credit report ready for reference.
What happens after you’ve filed the dispute?
From the day it’s filed, Equifax has 30 days to:
- Review the dispute,
- Reach out to the creditor/lender,
- Investigate the claim, and
- Issue a response.
If the creditor or lender who provided the incorrect information to Equifax refuses, or is unable to respond, then they must remove the information from your credit report.
If you filed online, you can check the status of your dispute anytime using the 10-digit number you received. You can log onto Equifax’s website to see any updates on the dispute.
However, sometimes credit bureaus do not follow the rules set out by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you are having a difficult time getting errors removed from your report, it’s time to seek legal counsel.
How Will Disputing Your Credit Affect Your Score?
A dispute itself will not have any lasting effect on your credit score, except in the case you submit a new dispute note after an unsuccessful attempt. The way you will see a change in your credit report is after the dispute is over and it will be a positive change.
You should try to check your credit report regularly, scanning for any suspicious or incorrect information. If you do find something that was reported in error, it’s best to dispute it with Equifax as soon as possible. By reviewing reports regularly and disputing errors you can protect your credit health.