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True story – A costly error in the credit report

An error in a credit report can cause a lot of inconvenience, including depriving you of a loan that would otherwise have been granted to you.

That’s what happened to Robert, who in 2010 teamed up with a friend to start a business. To obtain the funds needed for the start-up, Robert obtained a loan and line of credit from his financial institution but had to guarantee them personally.

Consumer proposal

Unfortunately, business did not go as well as the two partners would have liked, and 3 years after its debut, the company closes its doors. Robert finds himself solely responsible for the debts he has guaranteed, an amount of $117,000. Although he earns $4,000 net per month, he cannot assume the repayment of such a sum.

After consulting Jean Fortin, a licensed insolvency trustee, he opted for a consumer proposal that would allow him to get out of debt. An agreement was reached with the creditors according to which he agreed to reimburse $36,000 over 60 months. Things went so well that he managed to repay it in just 36 months.

Wrong score

Things were great until, a year and a half after the end of the proposal, Robert tried to get a loan. When he received his refusal letter, he contacted the Trustee to understand why.

“After consulting Robert’s credit report, we found that his score was 613 out of 900 – 900 being the best score – and most lenders require at least a score of 660 to consider a loan application,” says Pierre Fortin, Licensed Insolvency Trustee, President of Jean Fortin et Associates.

When consulting the list of creditors, we note that his credit report contains errors. Indeed, 2 debts that were part of the consumer proposal were not erased by the credit agency, when they should have been (a credit card and a car loan).

The credit score rises instantly!

Corrections were requested by filling out a form and the credit bureau corrected the errors within a few weeks. As soon as they were done, Robert’s score rose to 757, which is considered “Very good”, and he finally got the loan from his financial institution. “Agencies process a lot of data every year, so it’s no surprise that this kind of situation can occur.”

“I recommend checking your credit report one month after the completion of a proposal or bankruptcy, but also every 2 years thereafter, and before each credit application,” advises Pierre Fortin. This precaution will avoid unpleasant surprises and give you the time necessary to have any errors corrected.

ADVICE

Here are the steps you can take to check and possibly correct your credit report:

  • Get your free credit report by applying by mail, phone or in person, by contacting credit agencies directly (Equifax.ca and TransUnion.ca). It is best to get it from both agencies, as there may be differences. You can also receive it immediately online at a cost of about $ 25 and you get your score – a good indicator of the quality of your credit report – which you will not have in the free version.
  • If you notice an error, for example a debt that does not belong to you, fill out the form available on the 2 credit agencies’ website. If you are able to prove that there is an error, the credit agencies will quickly make the correction.
  • The table below will help you assess the score of your credit report:

Summary of scores

300-559: Low
560-659: Medium
660-724: Good
725-759: Very good
760+: Excellent