How to ensure your credit report is up to date

By Athenkosi Sawutana

Have you ever looked at your credit report and thought that the information displayed does not match what you know? You have paid your accounts, or you’ve completed the debt counselling programme, but it’s not reflected in your credit report. How do you rectify that?

Tip: CreditSav gives you 24-hour access to your credit report. Click here to register.

Before we reveal the steps you should take, you need to know the reasons your credit report is not up to date. 

“Credit bureaus display different information because of differing internal procedures and timeframes,” says Lillian Janse van Rensburg, legal administrator at VeriCred. The type of information displayed will be based on the bureau’s policies.

“It may also take different bureaus longer to process data and display the same information, meaning certain information may be updated at one bureau but not yet with a different one,” explains Janse van Rensburg.

The updating of accounts can be delayed in instances where credit providers or suppliers fail to timeously submit the data required of them.

According to Janse van Rensburg, credit providers are legally obliged to notify the credit bureaus within seven days after the debt settlement. Likewise, debt counsellors also have seven days after a clearance certificate has been issued to inform the credit bureaus.

She adds that the updating may also be delayed if data is submitted incorrectly and therefore rejected by the bureaus.

READ MORE: What happens to your credit score when you dispute it?

If you have paid off an account, settled a debt, or your payment history hasn’t been updated at the credit bureau for more than 60 days, Janse van Rensburg says these are the steps you should take.

Draw your credit report from one of the five primary credit bureaus (CPB, Experian, Trans Union, VeriCred, and XDS) at least once a year to confirm that the correct information is displayed.

Should outdated accounts or information appear, you’re encouraged to raise a dispute with the relevant bureau.

As previously stated, different bureaus have different procedures. It would be wise to visit the website of each individual bureau to ascertain the correct procedure for that specific bureau.

You will need to submit a copy of your ID, proof of address (not older than three months), and proof of settlement or cancellation of the account you wish to dispute.

Upon receipt of the dispute, the bureau will contact the credit provider to confirm the status of the account, after which the account will be updated.

Once you have raised a dispute with the relevant bureau, be prepared to wait for 20 business days for the bureau to investigate and resolve the dispute as per the National Credit Act 34 of 2005.

In the event where 20 business days have elapsed without credible or sufficient evidence from the credit provider or data supplier, the dispute will be resolved in your favour and the account updated or removed.

For more guidance on how to dispute inaccurate information in your credit report, call our trained coaches at 0861 365 920.

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