Beware of Errors in Your Credit ReportPosted on September 29th, 2011 | admin
Most people have heard that errors can occur in their credit reports but they may be unaware of how often they actually do happen. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an advocacy group, released a survey which indicates that eight out of every ten credit reports contained errors. They weren’t minor errors either. One out of every four reports had errors that were serious enough that they would have prevented the borrower from getting a loan or credit.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is currently looking into the problem of errors in individual credit reports. This Bureau which was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act is looking at the possibility of having to oversee the main credit bureaus. If this happens consumers will have stronger weapons to fight back against errors in their credit reports. The U.S. Public Interest Group is in favor of some type of supervision of the credit bureaus, and credit scoring companies. Brian Imus with the Group recently stated that their research has found that almost one fourth of the credit reports surveyed had serious errors. “Despite the fact that errors can harm your credit and lower your credit score, the bureaus have never once been held accountable for their mistakes,” Imus said.
What you can do
“We are recommending that consumers check their credit reports because both the companies and the regulators are falling down on the job,” said Ed Mierzwinksi with the Public Interest Group. Start the process by requesting reports from all three credit bureaus. You are entitled to one free report annually but if you need to check on a more frequent basis just pay the nominal fee for your report. You need to request reports from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Checking the report
When you get the report first check the personal information provided in the report including your name, address, birth date, Social Security number for any errors. The next section to check is the credit data which supplies information such as tax liens, court judgments, collection proceedings, and credit inquiries. One of the main things to check in both the personal and credit data sections is for signs of identity theft. Look for credit cards or loans that are fraudulent – that you did not apply for.
If you find errors take action
If you do find an error in your credit report it is up to you to do something about it. Get all the evidence you can including canceled pay checks or bank statements, credit card bills and then submit a dispute to the credit reporting agency. Be sure to include as much detail as you can find. You can either mail the information by certified mail or you can file online at the credit bureau website. Disputes must be investigated within 30 days. Begin here for information about how to repair your credit.