It was six years ago we reported here extensively about a massive security breach at Equifax affecting 143 million Americans.
Now Equifax finds itself in hot water again. Equifax says it found and fixed a coding issue that impacted how some credit scores were calculated. This is what Equifax says you need to know:
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Equifax understands that consumers have questions about their credit score and the potential effect of the coding issue that took place between March 17 and April 6, 2022. We take this issue seriously and regret that it occurred. While a number of news outlets have reported on this issue, we want to clarify the conflicting information that has appeared in news reports to ensure accuracy of information.
Here’s what you should know:
Information in consumer credit reports was not affected.
Equifax advises all consumers to regularly check their credit reports as part of their regular personal finance routine. However, this coding issue did not affect the information in consumer credit reports. Equifax credit reports can be received with a free myEquifax account. The three nationwide credit reporting agencies are offering free weekly credit reports to consumers through the end of 2022. Consumers can access their free weekly credit reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies at www.annualcreditreport.com.
The issue took place between March 17 and April 6, 2022.
The coding issue was limited to a three-week period of March 17 through April 6, 2022 and is not ongoing. A fix was put in place on April 6.
Scores have been updated.
Equifax has been providing lenders with updated scores and continues to work with them closely to best meet the needs of consumers. While some media reports have encouraged consumers to re-check their Equifax credit score, we can confirm scores were updated on April 6, when the issue was fixed. The updated scores provided to lenders are representative of the March 17 through April 6 time period. Some lenders used the data to create their own scores, and they have been provided with updated data.
Equifax has been providing lenders with updated scores.
Lenders use unique underwriting rules to evaluate risk and determine whether, and at what rate, to extend credit. These rules often include credit scores (sometimes from multiple sources), and may include other factors such as: debt-to-income ratio, savings, employment status, recent applications for loans or credit, and if a consumer has tax liens or declared bankruptcy.
Score shifts do not always result in changes to credit decisioning.
As part of our commitment to resolving this issue, Equifax has conducted an analysis of credit scores used for consumers seeking credit during the time period of the issue. Our analysis indicates that for those consumers there was no shift in the majority of scores during the three-week timeframe of the issue. For those consumers that did experience a score shift, initial analysis indicates that only a small number of them may have received a different credit decision. Our data shows that less than 300,000 consumers experienced a score shift of 25 points or more. While the score may have shifted, a score shift does not necessarily mean a consumer’s credit decision was negatively impacted.
If you attempted to obtain credit between March 17 and April 6, 2022, and think your decision may have been impacted, Equifax advises that you reach out to the lender for more information.
Again, we know consumers and businesses depend on our data and we do not take this issue lightly.
- Equifax Press Release