Equifax error on credit scores causes financial chaos for affected customers: Report

A three-week-long coding issue for credit reporting agency Equifax between March and April left millions of consumers with incorrect credit scores, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The error occurred in a legacy on-premise server slated to be migrated into the company’s new data cloud.

In a statement on its website, Equifax noted that “We have determined that there was no shift in the vast majority of scores during the three-week timeframe of the issue … Our data shows that less than 300,000 consumers experienced a score shift of 25 points or more.”

The incorrect scores have caused a headache for lenders; some customers received faulty interest rates, while wrongly low scores led to rejected applications for loans, mortgages, and credit cards.

The Journal spoke with a number of bank executives and other people in the know, who said that Equifax only disclosed the three-week period to them in May. They also noted that the impact of the errors varied between lenders.

For one bank, “18% of applicants during the three-week period had incorrect scores, with an average swing of 8 points,” according to The Journal.

Equifax told one auto lender, meanwhile, that “10% of applicants during the three-week period had inaccurate scores … [and] several thousand saw a change of 25 points or more on their credit score,” as reported by The Journal.

Affected consumers also dealt with the effects of these swings. Twitter user @emocane710 wrote in a tweet with expletives, “Lol I closed on my house [for] March 30th and on March 23rd, the lender re-ran my credit and magically it raised my rate … @Equifax I’ll give you these hands in court.”

In its statement, Equifax stressed that the issue had been fixed and that migration to the cloud was being accelerated so as to prevent future coding errors.


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