Whether you’re applying for a loan, a credit card, or a job, your credit score can affect the outcome. Credit reporting agencies like Equifax supply lenders, credit card companies, and even employers with information regarding your creditworthiness. A low credit score caused by a credit bureau error is enough to get you declined for a mortgage or increase your borrowing cost by thousands of dollars.
A mistake in your Equifax credit report can cause your credit score to drop by as many as 100 points or more, depending on the type of error and starting credit score. Unfortunately, credit report errors are far from rare, and disputing these mistakes can be a challenging task to undertake without the proper knowledge and legal representation.
If you have discovered an error on your credit report, contact Agruss Law Firm. We have the experience needed to help you fix credit reporting problems and seek restitution if necessary. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation and find out how we can help you repair your credit.
What is Equifax?
Equifax is a multinational credit reporting agency with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Equifax is one of three major credit bureaus, the other two being Experian and TransUnion. Equifax procures and sells data it collects on consumers to financial institutions and other organizations looking for creditworthy customers.
In 2017, Equifax experienced a significant data breach that placed the personal information of 147 million American consumers at risk. Although the breach occurred sometime in the spring or summer of 2017, the company did not announce the cyber attack to the public until September of the same year.
Although the breach settlement deadline was set for January 22, 2020, the FTC is allowing consumers to file a settlement claim by January 22, 2024.
Equifax’s Rating With the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau lists Equifax as being accredited since 1952. The credit reporting agency has a 1.04 out of 5-star rating from over 360 customer reviews.
Customer reviews on Equifax’s BBB profile most frequently cite customer service issues and complaints about errors that adversely affect their credit reports.
Common Credit Report Problems Consumers Face
Undetected credit reporting agency errors can negatively affect your finances if you don’t monitor your credit.
Mixed or merged credit files/mistaken identity
Credit reporting agencies may merge your credit file with one or more other consumers and place other people’s credit items in your file. If they don’t make payments on time or rack up a high amount of debt, it can affect your credit score.
If the credit bureau places all your information into another person’s credit file, you may have no credit history. This can lead to you paying higher interest rates on the money you borrow.
Public record mistakes
Although credit bureaus verify civil judgments and tax liens using your name, address, date of birth, or social security number, an erroneous entry can still make its way onto your credit report. Tax liens or adverse judgments are the property of their respective owners and if mistakenly put onto your credit file, can affect your ability to obtain important funding like a business or mortgage loan.
Inaccurate debt collection records
An inaccurate debt collection record can result from placing a debt collection entry from one consumer into another’s credit report simply due to having the same name or address.
For example, if your name is John Smith, a foreclosure entry from another John Smith can wrongfully make its way onto your credit report. Often, credit reporting agencies are aware of errors yet do nothing to fix them. A willful violation of your consumer rights may call for legal action on your part.
Identity theft can be a particularly damaging credit report problem. Besides a drop in your credit score due to a criminal’s actions, the person stealing your identity can commit crimes in your name. This can impact your life in multiple areas and even cause legal issues.
Other than data breaches such as the 2017 Equifax hack, scammers can find your information in phishing schemes and use it to take action in your name. If this occurs, you can place a fraud alert on your account. If you alert one of the credit reporting agencies, they must process your fraud alert immediately and report it to the other two credit reporting companies, Experian and TransUnion.
Another measure to safeguard your credit file from identity theft and fraud is to ask for a security freeze. This prevents anyone from accessing your credit file and opening accounts in your name.
How a Credit Report Error Can Impact Your Life
Mistakes a credit reporting agency makes can cost you thousands of dollars in extra interest on your loans or even the opportunity to land a job or take out an affordable insurance policy. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute incorrect items on your credit report that can burden your finances, causing stress and anxiety.
The best way to catch credit bureau errors early is to review your credit reports regularly. You can get a free credit report from all credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, while Experian offers free credit monitoring.
If you believe your rights have been violated, seek legal counsel with a consumer rights attorney at our law firm who can help you understand your rights and help you seek compensation from the reporting agency that violated them.
Seek Legal Counsel for Credit Report Errors
Finding an error in your credit report, whether from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, and disputing it promptly can save you money on your borrowing. It can also remove the undue stress from potential employment or mortgage rejections due to erroneous credit reports.
Contact a consumer lawyer at Agruss Law to get help with correcting your credit report and seeking damages for possible negligence that violates your federally protected rights.
Contact us at (888) 572-0176 for a free consultation. Our lawyers can help you restore your proper credit score and potentially seek damages from irresponsible credit bureau practices.