If you have a copy of your credit report and you think there is something wrong, it is important you get this investigated. Why? The information on your credit report impacts your credit rating and whether or not you might be accepted for a loan, credit card or a credit account such as a mobile phone or electricity contract.
What to do if there is a mistake on your credit report
There are a number of situations that you could wish to rectify, the details for each of these are outlined directly below.
- Disputed transactions
- Request a correction or investigation into the identity content of your credit file
- Request a correction or investigation into an entry of public record information
- Equifax Dispute Resolution Process
Step 1: Contact the credit provider
If you believe an entry or entries made by a subscriber or collection agent are incorrect or invalid you need to first make every effort to resolve the matter directly with the credit provider or debt collection agency. The full name of the credit provider and debt collector will be named on your credit file. Equifax has a list of most credit provider contacts to help you contact the creditor directly.
If you have not been satisfied with the response or outcomes of the subscriber or collection agent and you feel that your issue is legitimate, then you can contact us about the issue in writing.
Step 2: Contact Equifax
Forward your written request to Equifax and ensure that you advise us of the steps that you have already taken to resolve the issue with the Credit provider and collection agent. Your letter should include:
Your request for Equifax to investigate your issue for you
The name(s) and contact details of the people that you have already spoken to as well as the dates of telephone calls and or meetings.
Any email correspondence you may have regarding the incorrect/invalid information
A short explanation of the issue you have in relation to the detail within your credit file so that we can investigate the matter for you
Attach all copies of payment receipts and any other relevant documentation that may assist us during our investigation process
If you believe that some information on your credit file has not been caused by your actions and may have been caused by another individual committing fraud such as using your identification document then you need to:
Promptly report the matter to the police
Promptly report the matter to the fraud department of each of the credit providers involved
When you do this the police and the credit providers will conduct their own investigations and notify Equifax of the outcome. Only when this step is completed by you we will be able to remove any fraudulent activity from your credit file.
Because you are responsible for the management of your financial affairs, accounts and identity it is your responsibility to contact the credit providers directly to make them aware of your situation and so that they can update your account records held with them to reflect the current situation.
If you do not promptly inform your credit provider of your situation they may hold you responsible and liable for the bad debt incurred because they are not aware of your circumstances.
This refers to the "Identity Details" section of your credit file.
You will need to write to us and tell us what you would like corrected or investigated. The request for a correction or an investigation normally arises from entries recorded on your credit file by a credit provider or a collection agent (e.g. a debt collection company appointed by the credit provider).
You do not need to fill in a form but your written request must include the following information:
- Your full name and current residential address
- The Reference Number that appears on the top right hand side of your credit file
- Full details of the corrections or investigation you are requesting
- Attach all of the relevant information and documentation that you have to support your request (please note that this supporting documentation is vital for the fulfilment of your request)
Forward your letter together with the supporting documentation as detailed in Step 1 to:
Equifax New Zealand Information Services and Solutions Limited
PO Box 912012
Victoria St West
For example: bankruptcy, public notice, court judgment or directorship
If your credit file has bankruptcies, public notices, court judgments or directorships on record you can verify the information directly with the various ministries and companies’ office involved.
If you have official proof of payment and satisfactory documentation such as a court order that demonstrates that you have paid off a debit you can send this documentation to Equifax who will verify the payment.
On receipt of the documentation Equifax will review the documentation to determine authenticity and if satisfied will amend the entry/information on your credit file accordingly.
Equifax has a complaints procedure in place that we must follow if you believe we have breached the Code. The object of our complaints procedure is to facilitate the fair, simple, speedy and efficient resolution of complaints.
Under our complaints procedure:
- If you are not happy with the decision Equifax has made about the complaint, then you may choose to take the matter to the Privacy Commissioner who has statutory powers to investigate the matter. Some cases that cannot be settled can be taken to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
- We will acknowledge your complaint in writing within 5 working days of receipt, unless it has been resolved to your satisfaction within that period.
- Within 10 working days of acknowledging your complaint we will continue to investigate your request and advise you if it is justified, or if additional time is required to investigate and the reasons why.
- Upon completion of our investigation we will advise you of our decision, the reasons for it and any action we propose to take.
If you have utilised our complaints procedure and are not satisfied with our resolution you may bring your complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner using their online complaints system, (www.privacy.org.nz) or write to:
PO Box 10094
We must take reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of credit information we hold about you and must act promptly to correct any errors we become aware of. This will usually involve checking the information you provide with the source, such as a subscriber (or creditor) who submitted a default.
If you think there are inaccuracies in your credit file there are steps you can take to request that we correct them or have them investigated. These steps are outlined directly above and also in our FAQs.
We must, as soon as is reasonably practicable, decide whether to make the correction you have requested or to confirm the accuracy of the information. If we need longer than 20 working days to make a decision we must notify you of the extension and the reason for it. If the requested correction is not made, we must tell you the reason and you may ask to have a statement of the correction sought but not made. This statement will be included in your credit file.
If a correction is made or a correction statement added, we will send an amended report to any Equifax subscriber recorded as having accessed your credit file within the last 30 days.We note that a credit file describes your credit history, not simply your current debts. Information about a bankruptcy that has been discharged or a default that has subsequently been paid in full can continue to be reported on your credit file, provided it is updated to reflect the later developments, as it remains an accurate statement of those historical events.
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