Tristan Powys (Credit Manager) @ Lucid Living
Taking the time to periodically get a copy of your credit report to ensure all the information being reported on you is accurate, can make the process of applying for credit in the future that much easier.
What happens if you find errors on your credit report? How should you go about getting them resolved and how long does it take?
If you find mistakes on your credit report, the National Credit Act (NCA), gives you the right to submit a dispute to the credit bureau to remove inaccurate information. The bad news is that there are 11 registered credit bureaus; each with a different procedure and all disputes have to be lodged and monitored manually – which makes the process for resolving inaccurate data, time consuming, tedious and expensive.
If you up for the challenge, here is what we recommend you do to correct/dispute any inaccurate information on your credit report.
1. Get a copy of your credit report.
You are entitled to 1 free credit report, annually, from each credit bureau. This process can be cumbersome as credit bureau require FICA verification (i.e. you will need to provide certified copies of: ID, proof of residence and complete each credit bureau’s application form) and can take up to 10 days.
Alternatively you can obtain an INSTANT copy of your credit report from LUCID.
2. Review the credit report for mistakes.
Check your credit report carefully for any mistakes (e.g. indications of late payments that never happened, credit obligations being reported that are not yours, information that should no longer reflect because the maximum display period has been reached etc.).
Our earlier article: Common Credit Report Errors will help guide you on what to look for.
If you require personal assistance and advice on what information can be disputed, get in touch with our expert credit managers now on 010 590 5617.
3. Dispute any errors.
If you find a mistake: contact each credit bureau and request a Dispute Form; complete their respective Dispute Form and submit it to each credit bureau.
You should also notify (in writing) the information provider (the credit provider who reported the information).
If you have statements or “paid-up” letters or copies of court orders rescinding judgments that support your claim, include copies of them with your dispute. In your dispute, include the information you are disputing, and the reason the information is not accurate.
As we pointed out earlier, this can be a cumbersome and expensive exercise. To save yourself the hassel, why not let LUCID do it for you. You provide LUCID with the necessary details ONCE and they attend to the rest. Save yourself the frustration and expense – get in touch with our expert credit managers now on 010 590 5617.
4. Disputes through the mail.
You are advised to send your credit report dispute via registered post with return receipt requested. Because the credit bureau’s dispute process is manual – tracking and monitoring can be a problem. In many instances disputes are “lost”. This way you not only have proof that you sent the dispute, but also that the credit bureau received your dispute. Keep a copy of the letter along with any enclosures you send.