Equifax Dispute Lowered My Credit Score 72 Points In 2019!


Did My Equifax Dispute Actually Lower My Credit Score 72 Points ? 

equifax dispute

I have been following the Credit Knocks three step 90 day credit sprint plan and my credit score was lowered 72 points after I made an Equifax dispute of my credit history.

Luckily, a few days later I got all of my credit score points back and then some! 

However, I wanted to go over my experience with you so that if you suddenly see your credit score sharply fall after disputing your credit history, you won't freak out like I did! 

The first step Credit Knocks suggests is that you review your credit records from each of the big three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) and dispute any inaccuracies.  

This article is one of many I have been writing for a series titled, My Credit Journey to a 700 Credit Score, please visit the link and bookmark that page to keep up with the latest published stories. 

Equifax Dispute - The Facts

On March 12th, 2019, I disputed multiple records for various discrepancies with all three of the credit bureaus.  

(Let’s not dwell on why I slacked a few weeks on getting to this very important step to increasing your credit score... focus people!) 

A few hours later, my Equifax Vantage 3.0 credit score was lowered 72 points.  

Coincidence?

You be the judge...

Due to the fair credit reporting act, anytime your credit score is lowered or raised, the credit reporting agency must tell you what factors were considered in this change.  

Because of this, I have shared with you the reasons that my credit score was lowered 72 points according to VantageScore 3.0 for my Equifax dispute and I smell something fishy! 

There was 18 changes reported on my Equifax credit report for March 12th. 

Two of those changes were balance decreases for my credit cards.

These are positive changes and may have even increased my credit score a point or two if there had been no other changes found on my report. 

Revolving Credit Utilization

The third change found on my report is a balance increase to my brother's Bank of America card of $14,418. 

Wow!

OK, this is the problem with being an authorized user on someone else's credit card and may be a reason you might want to consider a Tradeline instead. 

Checkout 'An Authorized User And A Tradeline Walk Into A Bar' for more on the differences between Authorized Users and Tradelines.

If the owner of the credit card charges a lot of money and then doesn't pay it off, your revolving credit utilization will increase and your credit score will decrease. 

But, would it decrease your credit score 72 points?

I don't think so, my FICO credit score 8 was decreased by TransUnion (6 points) and Experian (13 points) for the exact same reported activity. 

The Dispute

The last section of reasons for my credit score decrease contains 15 remarks to my credit report as of March 12th, in the updated account information. 

This is a list of all of the accounts that I disputed information within my credit report earlier that day.

If you click on the blue plus symbol next to the 'Remark Added to Account' there is an expanded explanation with the reason it is on the list. 

The remark is the same for all 15 accounts..  the reason is because 'Consumer disputes - reinvestigation in progress'.

equifax dispute
equifax dispute

So, to sum up... 

The initial credit activities were positive and should have slightly increased my credit score.

And, the third activity that increased my revolving credit utilization should have decreased my credit score between 5-20 points. 

So, why did I lose an additional 52+ points? 

'Consumer disputes - reinvestigation in progress'. 

I think that pretty much sums it up....  

Everything is exactly the same... except the credit score point reduction....

equifax dispute

Equifax Dispute Results In 96 Credit Score Point Increase 

The reality is that by disputing my Equifax credit report, my credit score actually increased about 50 points. 

For four days, I believed that disputing a credit record could seriously hurt my credit score with VantageScore 3.0. 

My world was rocked and I didn't understand...

Then I got an email saying that my credit score had increased 96 points! 

Can you believe it? 

A one day credit score increase of almost 100 points. 

Do not get caught up in sudden large credit score increases and decreases. 

As a result of my Equifax dispute, three already closed student loan accounts were removed from my credit history that contained delinquent payment histories. 

Would the removal of three old and closed accounts with a negative reporting actually result in a 96 point credit increase?

I don't think so.

equifax dispute

I have been tracking my credit score for all three credit agencies with both FICO and VantageScore and you can see them on some real interesting comparison chart graphs by going to this article... VantageScore 3.0 VS FICO Credit Score 8 Comparison Charts.

This is a great lesson for all of us who monitor our credit too closely...

Do not get caught up in sudden large credit score increases and decreases. 

Don't freak out if you see your credit score decrease suddenly after you dispute some records.

Give it a few days and you should see a positive result in the end. 

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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