A credit report, as a document contains record of all your past credit history, and hence is indeed a good indicator of your financial health to banks and other financial institutions. These reports are generated by a credit bureau, or a credit information company, of which there are four in India, licensed to operate by the Reserve Bank of India.
Of the four – CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark – CIBIL is the oldest, and hence very often, a credit report is understood as one only from CIBIL. However, all bureaus provide similar reports, and you as a consumer can choose to purchase a report from any or all of them.
What erroneous information can be captured in a CIBIL report?
Given that the credit report plays a significant role in the loan process, it is critical that all the information contained therein is both accurate and updated. Any incorrect or erroneous information needs to be addressed at the earliest.
Some of the information that can be inaccurate includes:
Incorrect account balance – Generally, an institution submits information to a bureau within a span of 30 – 45 days. If you do happen to check your report before the latest information has been reported and updated, there is a possibility that it would show up on the report as an overdue amount on the existing loan or credit card account. However, if it is over two months and the information still does not reflect – and shows the said account as overdue – a dispute can be raised to have the same corrected.
Incorrect personal information – This includes details pertaining to name, address, date of birth, PAN card etc.
Ownership – An important piece of information, this covers both personal details as well as details pertaining to the accounts (both loans and credit cards). If you find that the accounts captured in the report do not pertain to you, do flag this off immediately to the concerned bureau.
If you purchase your credit report and find any inaccurate information therein, you can raise a dispute with the concerned bureau to have the same investigated. Remember, any incorrect information that stays on your record will pull down your credit score, which is an integral part of the report.
What is a CIBIL dispute?
Typically, the credit report contains sections pertaining to personal information, contact information, employment information, account information and enquiry information. If any of these details need either correction or have to be updated, the bureau in question would be able to assist you. This, simply put, is known as a dispute.
Importance of raising a dispute
One of the most alarming trends these days is the rise of identity theft. This occurs when someone steals your personal information to apply for a loan or credit card. If this application does go through, and the individual who has stolen your identity is not able to repay the borrowing, it will reflect on your credit report as a default.
If you see enquires (for a fresh line of credit that you have not applied for) in your report, do raise a dispute immediately.
For this, regularly monitoring your credit report is important.
What is the dispute resolution process?
With virtually everything going digital, this process can also now be carried out online by following a very simple process. This includes:
Filling in and submitting an online dispute form. This needs to detail the information you wish to dispute and submit for correction.
Based on the type of dispute, the bureau will investigate your claim, and will take it up with the concerned credit institution (bank or other financial institution, for example).
Upon revert from the institution regarding the claim (whether valid or otherwise), the bureau will make the necessary changes after the credit institution submits the correct/ updated information.
This information will now reflect in the revised credit report.
Once you have submitted your request, the bureau typically reverts within a total turn around time of 30 days. This of course may differ, subject to the time taken by the concerned financial institution to revert to the bureau.
The other alternative would be to contact the concerned bureau via regular post, if you do not wish to submit an application online.
What happens once the dispute is resolved?
As mentioned, upon resolution, the bureau will share a revised credit report with you. However, if you are still dissatisfied with the resolution, you can choose to contact the concerned financial institution directly.
You can also alternately choose to raise the dispute with the bureau again, and the bureau will then verify it once more with the lender. It is important to note that a bureau cannot make any changes to an individual’s report without confirmation to that effect from the concerned institution.
Addressing the dispute or error has to be of high priority on your to do list since it can lead to impairment and can adversely impact the credit scores. Addressing these issues will lead to increase credit score.