In certain cases the errors were enough — the differential was at least 25 points for around 300,000 significant consumers — that some would-be borrowers may have been wrongfully denied credit, the company said in a statement.
The problem occurred because of a “coding issue” when making a change to one of Equifax’s servers, according to the company, which said the issue “was in place over a period of a few weeks [and] resulted in the potential miscalculation” of credit scores.
While Equifax did not specify dates or figures, a June 1 alert from housing agency Freddie Mac to its clients said Equifax told the agency that about 12% of all credit scores released from March 17 to April 6 may be have been incorrect.
Equifax wrote that “there was no shift in the vast majority of scores” and that “credit reports were not affected.” But the company declined to comment to CNN Business about how people can learn whether they were among those whose credit scores were incorrectly reported — and what recourse they may have if they were issued loans at a higher rate or denied a loan outright because of the snafu .
Tuesday’s disclosure about the score errors comes just after Equifax said its board voted to give CEO Mark Begor a $25 million retention bonus package.
Last Friday’s regulatory filing announcing the bonus said the board believes Boger is “uniquely qualified to continue to lead the Company during the final stages of our $1.5 billion technology transformation.”
Equifax tracks the credit history of millions of borrowers — almost all Americans — and sells that information to banks and other lenders. As one of only three major credit companies, Equifax plays an outsized role in the credit-score business: Its information helps lenders set reporting interests for borrowers or deny borrowers seeking mortgages, car loans or credit cards.