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Equifax and TransUnion are the two main credit reporting bureaus in Canada. The two come with one main goal and that is to report accurate information about your credit. However, sometimes they make mistakes and inaccurate information is included in your credit report. When this happens, both the bureaus are obliged by law to investigate, confirm and change any information that you dispute.
All consumers and credit users have the right to dispute information that they know is inaccurate. Once this dispute is initiated, the credit reporting bureau must launch an investigation to confirm the validity of the information in question.
How to Launch a Dispute
There are numerous ways to file a dispute if you believe your credit report contains false information about your credit history, depending on the credit bureau you believe has recorded inaccurate information.
Keep in mind that your credit report from one bureau may differ from your credit report from another. You’ll need to contact both bureaus if they both supplied incorrect information.
TransUnion can be contacted by phone or by letter to start a dispute.
Call 1-800-663-9980 for English service (unless you live in Quebec).
Call 1-877-713-3393 or 514-335-0374 for service in French and for anyone in Quebec (in Montreal)
You’ll need to download, print, and fill out an Investigation Request Form to start a dispute by mail.
Mail your completed form to:
TransUnion Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 338, LCD1
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
If you need service in French and live in Quebec, mail your completed form to:
Centre de relations au consommateur
CP 1433 Succ. St-Martin
Laval, QC, H7V 3P7
You can contact Equifax by letter or fax to file a dispute. You’ll need to fill out the Consumer Credit Report Update Form for both options.
Equifax Canada Co.
Consumer Relations Department
Box 190 Jean Talon Station
What You Need to Know Before Filing Dispute
You may be required to give any of the following information during your communications with the credit reporting bureaus:
- Your SSN (Social Security Number) (SIN)
- Your whole name
- Date of your birth
- Your contact information
- Information about your current job
- Your current location
- If you’ve been at your present residence for less than two years, your former address.
- The name of the company whose product you want to challenge (you should get the correct name from your
- credit report).
- The item’s account number that you want to dispute
- The reason for your disagreement with the item
- Documentation to back up your dispute (this varies depending on the type of dispute and the credit agency you’re dealing with).
What to Expect Throughout the Dispute Resolution Process
The issue is out of your hands once you’ve completed the proper documents and provided all of the information the credit reporting bureaus require. The information you’ve disputed will now be verified by the credit reporting bureaus. Expect the following in most cases:
- The credit reporting bureau will first double-check the information they have on file.
- If this does not address the problem, they will contact the company that provided the information.
- The credit reporting agency will update your credit report if the company certifies that the information is erroneous.
- No adjustments to your credit report will be made if the company certifies that the information your credit reporting bureau has is correct.
You can expect the procedure to take 30 days or less, depending on the credit agency you’re working with and how you submitted your dispute. You will receive a formal notice from the credit bureau informing you of the findings of your dispute whenever the disputed information has been validated or modified.
What is a Consumer Declaration?
You are legally authorised to add a consumer statement to your credit report if the credit reporting bureau can validate the information you’ve questioned and will not change it. A consumer statement is a brief explanation of 100 words (200 words in Saskatchewan) that can be added to the disputed item. This consumer statement will be available to any future companies that pull your credit record. It will be on your credit record for six years, but you can get it erased at any time.
It’s vital to understand that your credit report can only be cleared of false information. It will not be possible to dispute a credit account that is in default just because it reflects poorly on your credit behaviour. Negative information on a credit report is kept for a legal period of time.
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