By Arun Ramamurthy
While credit bureaus have now come of age where all lending institutions have started sharing data with the bureaus and even individuals have started to understand the importance of their credit profile, the worrisome part is the errors in the credit reports. It is estimated that 1 in 4 credit reports has errors. Not only is this percentage high, the concern is over the gap on understanding how to deal with these errors.
There are people who do not realize about its existence till the time they apply for a credit facility. And even when one raises a dispute, the same may not get resolved despite consistent follow-up. What should one be doing in such a situation? Will one have to live with the dent on the credit profile or is there a way out?
Following are the steps to be followed to ensure that the errors in your credit report get resolved and issues are sorted out:
Check all credit bureaus’ reports
Upon getting to know about the error, it is advised that all credit bureaus’ reports are checked to ascertain if the error is in only one bureau or all. Since the bureaus are obliged to extend a free credit report every year, you need not worry about the cost. Error reflecting on all bureaus will ascertain the mistake could be at the lender’s end. If the issue is pertaining only to one bureau, evidently the issue lies at the bureau’s end.
Raise the dispute
Download the dispute form from the respective credit bureau and notify them. Simultaneously one should also write to the respective bank or lending institution. Generally, the issues will get resolved at this end itself if the dispute is raised correctly. In some cases the issue may not get resolved due to various reasons.
In case the issue does not get resolved, one should write to the grievance cell of the bank. They are supposed to take up the matter internally and have the concern addressed.
Raise a dispute with the banking ombudsman
In case the lender is unable to sort out the issue, one needs to write to the banking ombudsman. The ombudsman takes it up with the lender and the issue generally gets sorted out within 30 days of filing the complaint.
In the event of the issue not getting sorted out even with the regulator, the customer can approach the consumer court to get the matter sorted out. The court ruling will precede over decisions taken by the ombudsman or the lender.
So go ahead and have that error solved. Not resolving it in time can lead to repercussions later.
(The author is Director of Credit Sudhaar)