Skip to content
Download Consolidated Credit's Free Debt Relief Guide

Credit Report Errors

Dear Jeff,

Last week I applied for credit at my local electronics store and the application came back declined. When I enquired about the reasons for my application being rejected, I found out that there was an error on my credit report that had significantly lowered my score. My question for you, Jeff, is how often do errors occur on credit reports? And what can I do about correcting them?

Justin Y.
Thompson, Manitoba

Thanks for the great question, Justin!

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers you have and is calculated based on the information contained in your credit report. For the most part, your credit score is an accurate representation of your creditworthiness. However, at times incorrect or fraudulent information can appear on a credit report and cause your credit score to plummet.

In fact, it is estimated that approximately 20% of all credit files maintained by TransUnion and Equifax contain some kind of error or incorrect information. These errors can include someone else’s information, incorrect payment history, debts that are not yours or even listed debts that you have already paid in full.

Obtaining a copy of your credit report at least once a year (if not more) is your best defence against incorrect information having a negative impact on your financial health.

Thankfully, if there are errors on your report you have every right to dispute these inaccuracies and request that this information be corrected or changed so that it will not negatively impact your creditworthiness in the future.

In your specific situation Justin, you have already identified that there are errors on your reports – so the next step is to have these errors corrected. In your case, there are two different avenues you can take to have this information corrected.

The first is to tell the credit bureau(s) what information you believe is inaccurate. Once you have informed them of the errors, an investigation will begin and the incorrect information should be removed within 30 days. In order to support your dispute, it is strongly recommended that you:

  • Conduct all communication in writing in addition to verbal.
  • Clearly identify each item in your report that you dispute.
  • Provide copies of any document that support your dispute.
  • State the facts and explain why you dispute the information.
  • Request deletion or correction.

Your second option is to launch an investigation with the specific creditor or credit institution with whom the error is associated. Again, include copies of the documents that support your dispute. If the incorrect information is a result of an error on the part of the creditor, you can have it removed from your credit report within 2 – 10 business days.

Ideally, I would recommend taking both avenues to ensure that the error does not occur again. I also recommend that you take a look at our free resource, Repair Your Credit for more information about your credit score and your credit rights as a consumer.

Jeffrey Schwartz
Executive Director

Jeffrey Schwartz is the Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Canada and Former President of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto (CAGT).

Have a financial question?

Our team of experts has the answers you need.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada Inc BBB accredited business profile

What is your total credit card debt amount?

Provide a few details about yourself.

##first_name##, here are your next steps...

Get a clear picture of your spending vs. your income. Begin your online budget and financial analysis now by clicking the button above.

Our experts are here to help you understand your options and reach your goals. After you complete the easy-to-use online budget, one of our trained counsellors will reach out to you and provide recommendations.

Everything shared is 100% confidential and secure.

I understand and agree that by choosing “Start your online budget now”, I am voluntarily providing certain personal financial information in order to educate myself as to my current financial position. I understand that this budget tool is educational in nature, and that none of the information received in the form of a budget constitutes financial advice, nor does it constitute a counselling session. I understand and agree that the budget depends on the information I input into the fields, and that Company does not represent or guarantee the accuracy of the budget. I understand that this tool may collect information and should I choose not to provide such information, I am not to proceed further. If I choose to abandon the tool midway through the process, I understand that the information will not be maintained and I would be required to start providing the information from the beginning. Company disclaims all warranties associated with the budget tool herein. I understand and agree that Company may use the contact information provided herein to contact me through various means of communications, including automated messages, and that I expressly consent to receive these messages.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada Inc BBB accredited business profile