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What Equifax Credit Score Error Means for Consumers | Lifestyle

By AMANDA BARROSO and LAUREN SCHWAHN of NerdWallet

Equifax, one of the three largest credit bureaus, announced that during the three weeks between March 17th and April 6th, a computer coding error caused a consumer’s credit score to be calculated incorrectly. 25 points. Equifax said the change in credit score did not show up on the credit report. press release.

Errors have shifted your score positively and negatively, but a 25-point drop in your credit score can cost you a lot of money, especially if you’re on top of one. credit bandFor some consumers, this could mean less access to financial services and products, such as auto and mortgage loans, and better credit cards.

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NerdWallet spoke to credit experts and consumer advocates to clarify what to do in the wake of this Equifax error.

How to check if you have been affected

It may not be easy to determine if you have been affected by this Equifax error. “With the naked eye, consumers will not be able to tell, for better or worse, that they have been affected,” credit expert John Urzheimer said in his email.

Equifax says it is “working with customers to determine the actual impact on consumers,” but it is unclear how and when it will notify affected customers.

“This is not the consumer’s responsibility,” says Chi Chi Wu, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “And to say that Equifax’s error hurt consumers is outrageous and now we have to go back and fix it.”

Follow these steps to protect your scores after an Equifax error.

Check all notifications related to rejected applications during this period

If you applied for a car, mortgage, or credit card between March 17th and April 6th and your application was rejected or you had to pay an additional fee (due to a miscalculation of this score) ), the following documentation:

Adverse Action Notice: If your application is denied, Notice of Adverse BehaviorFederal law requires creditors to tell you why your application was rejected and from which agency they got their information. So it’s important to review this letter to better understand if the coding error affected you.

“If you’ve been denied because of something on your credit report, and it’s somehow related to your credit score, it’s worth going back and getting a copy of your credit report and credit score. said Bruce McClary, senior vice president of communications for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It’s also worth “looking at the credit his score the creditor used to value you,” he says.

Risk-Based Price Notification: If you applied for a loan or credit card during this period and were given adverse terms (such as a higher interest rate), you should have received a risk-based price notification.

If a consumer applies for a credit card or loan during this time and doesn’t receive one of these two notices, Ulzheimer says, “they won’t be denied, nor will they be approved on unfavorable terms. was”.

Check your EQUIFAX credit report

Credit report confirmation It should be your next step. Check here to see if you see a tough inquiry, or a credit check request. This “hard pull” confirms that he applied for credit during his three-week period in which no errors were detected by Equifax.

The incorrectly calculated score did not appear on your credit report, so you cannot dispute the error with Equifax. “Equifax’s credit report contained no errors requiring investigation and correction,” Ulzheimer said. “This was a programming error and was unaffected by how the consumer acted or paid the bill.”

Contact the lender and EQUIFAX

If so, contact your lender and ask them to re-evaluate your application or loan terms.

According to Wu, changing credit card interest rates is easier than changing the terms of a mortgage or car loan.

If you believe you have been affected, please call Equifax Customer Service at 1-888-378-4329.

Please wait for a message from EQUIFAX

Stay tuned for future communications from Equifax. “The responsibility lies with the credit bureaus to notify those affected and to provide some course of action that people can take to address any issues arising from this incident,” McCrary said.

This article originally appeared on the personal finance website NerdWallet. Amanda Barroso and Lauren Schwahn are writers for her NerdWallet. Email: abarroso@nerdwallet.com, lschwahn@nerdwallet.comTwitter: @lauren_schwahn.

NerdWallet: What is a credit score? What are the credit score ranges? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-credit-score-ranges-and-how-to-improve

NerdWallet: What is an Adverse Action Notice? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-adverse-action-notice

NerdWallet: How to get free credit reports from major credit bureaus https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-how-to-use-annualcreditreport-com

Equifax: Equifax Statement on Recent Coding Issues https://www.equifax.com/newsroom/all-news/-/story/equifax-statement-on-recent-coding-issue/

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

What Equifax Credit Score Error Means for Consumers | Lifestyle

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