We all make mistakes. After all, we’re only human. But if that human mistake negatively affects your creditworthiness (in other words, your credit score), you are going to have a difficult time running your business. These errors can either occur in your personal or business credit report.
This is when you file a dispute. By law, you are allowed to dispute any inaccuracies on your business credit report. There is no cost for doing so. You can either submit your dispute to the business that provided your information to the credit agency or directly to the credit agency to get them corrected.
Let’s look at the ways you can contact the two parties responsible for correcting inaccurate information on your credit report.
Credit Reporting Agencies
There are two major Canadian credit bureaus – Equifax & TransUnion. They track and record the financial habits of individuals and businesses to determine how they handle their debts.
Even though the bureaus have an extensive research and reporting system, sometimes they make mistakes. But they also make it easy for small business owners, like you, to obtain a copy of their credit report. If you identify any error(s) on it, here’s how to file a dispute for each agency:
- Gather relevant identification documents such as your social insurance number, date of birth, address, details of the dispute (company name, reason for dispute, etc). You can check out the full list of documentation for TransUnion here
- You can also call or dispute errors via mail or email. The same details and documents are needed for whichever method you use
- They will investigate your documents in question, unless they find it facetious
- Once the investigation is complete, they will provide you with the results in writing along with a copy of your updated report (if it is unchanged). This means that the entries were not considered as errors
If your dispute is not resolved with the credit agency, you can ask them for a statement of the dispute to be included in your file and in future reports.
- Fill out a document called the Consumer Credit Report Update Form here
- Gather relevant identification documents, as well as details of the dispute (see TransUnion #1)
- Fax or mail all the documents to Equifax, along with a printed copy of the report with notes of incorrect entries
- They will investigate your documents in question
- Once the investigation is done, you will receive the results with an updated copy of the credit report (if it’s unchanged). This means that the entries were not considered as errors
Who are they? They’re the person(s), business or organization that provide information about your business to a credit reporting company. You can write to the information providers that you dispute an item on your credit report. Here is a sample dispute letter you can use. Include copies of supported documents, and be sure to send them to the business address of that provider or the address that they have listed.
If the provider continues on reporting your disputed item to a credit reporting company, they must let that credit reporting company know about your dispute. If the information you disputed turns out to be inaccurate, it is the information provider’s responsibility to tell the credit reporting company to either update or delete the item.
Once all the errors on your credit report have been corrected, you may start thinking about improving your credit score. Learn more about what business credit score is here, and how you can improve it here.