A Florida woman is suing Equifax over a 130-point error in her credit score that she says led to her being denied for a car loan. Equifax recently admitted that it had made similar errors in the credit scores for a large number of consumers, blaming the problem on faulty coding. Nydia Jenkins, the plaintiff, says her incorrectly lowered score was part of that group.
Jenkins’ lawsuit is a federal class-action suit and may eventually apply to others who attempted to get loans or other credit at the same time. In the suit, she claims she ended up having to take a loan with a substantially higher monthly repayment. Jenkins’ lawyers, John Morgan and John Yanchunis, think her story isn’t an isolated one and that the credit-scoring error may have affected applications for many people.
Equifax reported recently that for three weeks, starting in mid-March of 2022 and going through early April, the credit scores of an unknown number of people were miscalculated due to a coding problem. Mortgage lender Freddie Mac Single-Family says they were told that up to 12 percent of credit reports pulled during that three-week period may have had the scoring error.
Equifax issued a statement claiming their own analysis showed only a small number of people would have been affected when applying for credit and that a change in a credit score doesn’t necessarily translate to negative results on credit applications. However, another statement from Equifax noted that as many as 300,000 people might have had incorrect credit scores that were off by over 25 points.
Jenkins’ lawsuit is seeking undisclosed damages and asks that Equifax undergo an audit to find the actual number of scores that were mistakenly changed. The lawsuit also asks for financial help and reimbursement for people affected by the scoring error, including credit repair.
Credit scores are meant to give lenders an idea of how reliable a person might be with regard to paying back a loan or credit card balance. A drop in a credit score can result in someone being denied a loan or being forced to take a loan with a higher interest rate and higher monthly payments.