Disputing credit report in Canada
April 14, 2009 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Please help me *effectively* dispute several items on my credit report (in Canada)

Short explanation - checked my credit report, and there are a number of items that are incorrect, accounts that have been 90 days past due for years that were closed 3-4 years ago, accounts that were closed as uncollectable, an account that refers to a bankruptcy that I never had - but they are all real accounts that I actually had, no fraud or identity theft involved. It seems like my creditors just got lazy and somehow never registered closed and paid accounts, or ticked the wrong boxes or something. I never knew because I never use credit or apply for it. I've had one account open for years that I use and it's fine and current. Just to be clear, I have never declared bankrupcty, and I have no accounts that are open for collection or were closed as uncollectable. Basically I have several items that are incorrectly derogatory for various reasons. Also, I'm not desperate for credit for any reason, there's no imminent mortgage or anything like that. I just noticed it and want it cleared up. I have credit cards and all the credit products I need.

There are plenty of sites dedicated to disputing credit report items in the states, but not a good one that I've found for Canadians. I know I have to formally dispute each item, know to send an letter registered mail, and wait for 30 (60?) days. I've seen lists that tell you to go in order for each item, listing excuses (not mine, wrong account number, wrong this or that) trying to wear down (I guess?) the investigative abilities of the credit agency/creditor, does this make any sense? I can't believe it does in the computer age.

Is there anything I'm missing? Should I speak to the creditors first to get them to change the items or go right to the credit agency? Are there different rules in Canada? Are equifax and transunion up here total separate from their US friends (experian is apparently no longer operating in Canada)? Anyone have a good checklist of things to do to most effectively challenge erroneous items? I have a feeling this is going to be somewhat of a fruitless and painful exercise in being on hold on the phone for a long time. Any help appreciated, bonus marks if you know of a reputable law firm, or paralegal or bankruptcy trustee (in Toronto) who offers a service to deal with all of this if I hand over the information.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (2 answers total)
Well I have not had so many issues on my credit report but I have had a few instances where cards (yes sears card and futureshop store card I'm talking about you!) that I had closed years ago were still showing as active.

I called the phone numbers listed on the report and spoke with the credit agency directly. After 2 phone calls and 2 follow ups the problem was corrected. Total time 2 - 3 months to have this corrected on the report.

So my suggestion call the credit company directly and get the details on why they posted what they did and see what they can do to help you.
posted by saradarlin at 1:04 PM on April 14, 2009

You might want to ask this in the credit.com forums (disclaimer: I work there) and in the creditboards.com forums (I don't work there!), where there are likely to be many credit experts to offer advice.
posted by judith at 1:51 PM on April 14, 2009

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