Report: Equifax issued wrong credit scores for millions looking for home, auto loans

Credit reporting company Equifax this spring sent out millions of incorrect credit scores for those applying for home and auto loans, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

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According to the Journal, which cited unnamed sources, the error caused some credit scores to change by as much as 20 points in either direction, which was enough for some prospective borrowers to be rejected for a loan.

The incorrect scores were sent to Ally Financial, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, among other lenders, the Journal reported.

Equifax is one of three major credit-reporting companies in the United States. Banks, credit unions, credit card companies and other financial institutions use the scores generated by the company to determine a person’s credit worthiness when it comes to loans.

The higher the credit score, the lower the interest rate on loans. Scores range between 300 and 850.

Equifax said in a statement on its website that the error – referred to as a “coding issue” — had been fixed.

“We know that businesses and consumers depend on our data and Equifax takes this technology coding issue very seriously.

“We can confirm that the issue has been fixed and that we’ve been working closely with our customers on analysis to best meet the needs of consumers,” the company said.

Equifax also said that “only a small number” of consumers received a decision on a loan or credit card that was different from what they would have received had their score been correct.

“There was no shift in the vast majority of scores during the three-week timeframe of the issue,” the company said. “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.”

The inaccurate scores were sent from mid-March through early April. The company began disclosing the errors to lenders in May, according to the story.