Once again, Equifax, the multinational consumer credit reporting agency, is back in the news. On August 2nd, the agency admitted that it had sent out incorrect credit scores between March 17, 2022 and April 6, 2022. Equifax identified a coding issue within a “legacy, on-premise server environment in the U.S. slated to be migrated to the new Equifax Cloud infrastructure.”
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, this coding issue had the potential to affect millions of American consumers; approximately 300,000 customers had their credit scores changed by 25 points or more in either direction.
A shift in credit scores of 25 points or more can have a significant impact on consumers because credit reports and scores from the three major credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, are a major tool used by lenders when it comes to approving or denying customers who are applying for one of their financial products.
The price of their mistake
So, how can credit score errors of 25 points or more affect the average consumer? They can make the difference between being approved or denied for a mortgage, home equity loan, or credit card. They can result in higher interest rates for loans on used or new cars.
Just ask the Florida woman who was forced into taking out a more costly car loan as a result of an error to her Equifax credit score. She has initiated a lawsuit against the company.
The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status, takes into consideration the fact that, between March 17 and April 6, when the company had reporting errors, 25 million credit scores were requested from Equifax as well as the other two credit bureaus. With figures that high, millions of American consumers could have been affected by the misreporting.
If you’ve been turned down for a loan, your application for a credit card has been denied, or if you have received unsatisfactory financial terms because you’ve been deemed a credit risk, it could be that you were a victim of the company’s recent coding issue.
This isn’t the first time…
Unfortunately, the Equifax reporting errors that just came to light earlier this month are not the first time the company has experienced a problem that affected consumers. In 2017, Equifax reported that hackers had breached its systems and had gained access to sensitive information belonging to 143 million consumers.
In February of this year, the company agreed to a global settlement with the FTC, CFPB, and the fifty states and U.S territories totaling $575 million; this included $425 million to help individuals affected by the data breach.
These and other class action lawsuits against Equifax have shone a spotlight on the problems the company had protecting customers’ information with cases dating as far back as 2013.
Should you sue the credit bureau? If you have been turned down for a mortgage or credit card or have ended up paying higher interest rates on a car loan due to an error on your credit report, contact the law offices of Robert F. Brennan to find out what rights you, as a consumer, have. If taking legal action is the right course of action for your case, we will also go after compensation for your costs.