Credit monitoring company Equifax recorded inaccurately Credit Scores created for millions of US consumers and sent to lenders between mid-March and early April. Some scores were incorrectly increased or decreased by more than 20 points, which had repercussions Interest charges Offered and in some cases caused lenders to reject loan applications.

The error was due to a coding issue, Equifax said in an Aug. 2 statement, and the results have been readjusted.

“Our data shows that fewer than 300,000 consumers experienced a score shift of 25 points or more,” Equifax said. “While the score may have shifted, a score shift does not necessarily mean that a consumer’s credit decision has been negatively impacted.”

The company added that it is working with the financial institutions that use it “to determine actual consumer impact.”

The Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, told the Washington Post that getting the right credit reports is “of the utmost importance.”

But in a January report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a state regulator, said that “America’s credit reporting oligopoly” has shown a pattern of underreaction when consumers complain about errors in their credit reports, with “serious damage from their erroneous finances.” business model of surveillance.”

What should you do if you think you were denied a loan because of Equifax’s error? We explain it below.

Who Was Affected by the Equifax Credit Report Error?

If you were denied credit on a credit card, car loan, mortgage, or other line of credit between March 17 and April 6, 2022, it may be due to an error by Equifax.

Around 2.5 million credit scores were requested from mortgage lenders during that three-week window, according to The Wall Street Journal, but since they typically request reports from all three credit agencies, it’s hard to say how badly the bug affected it.

Equifax manages fewer than 300,000 accounts that have been moved 25 or more points in either direction.

What can you do if you think you were denied credit because of Equifax’s error?

Thomas Nitzsche, senior director of media and brand at Money Management International, a nonprofit credit advisory agency, says people who believe they have been improperly denied credit should contact their lender to find out if they used Equifax to get a loan make a credit decision.

In an emailed statement to CNET, Equifax also encouraged borrowers who believe they may have been impacted to “contact their lender for more information.”

If your score turns out to be incorrect because of the coding issue, you can file a complaint with the lender and the CFPB, Nitzsche said, as well as your state’s attorney general’s office.

If you are still looking for a loan, you can also get the decision of another Schufa.

“You should also document the incident as I assume a class action lawsuit could be forthcoming,” Nitzsche said.

Financial institutions are also seeking more information from Equifax, the Journal reported, and are considering solutions for loan seekers who have been assigned artificially high interest rates or who have had their loans turned down.

You may get a lower interest rate

Individuals affected by Equifax’s error may not have been declined for a line of credit, but their interest rate may have been tabulated incorrectly.

If you were approved for a line of credit between March 17 and April 6 — “maybe a little earlier to account for the underwriting delay,” Nitzsche said — you could be eligible for an interest rate adjustment.

Contact your lender and see how they determined your interest rate. If an incorrect Equifax score was used, see if you can retroactively credit the interest already paid based on your current interest rate.

“This applies in particular to consumers who are made aware that they are affected,” said Nitzsche.

Check your credit score

Even if you did not apply for a credit line this spring, you should regularly check your creditworthiness for abnormalities. You can check your credit through companies like Credit Karma and Mintor often via your bank or credit card.

Americans are too eligible to receive free weekly credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Credit reports contain information about your current credit situation, such as B. the status of your accounts, any collection items or judgments and your repayment history.

Equifax credit reports can be received by registering for a free myEquifax account.

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