If you’ve ever tried buying a car, renting an apartment, qualifying for a mortgage, or just signing up for a new credit card then you know how important your credit report is. Lenders, landlords, and even employers all use credit reports to make judgments about you and decide whether to do business with you. Take a look at these quick facts compiled by about credit reports:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received 488,000 complaints about Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion between October 2021 and September 2022.
Equifax, Experian, and Transunion receive as many as 8 million disputes from consumers each year.
Medical bills reported on credit reports have been found to have an error rate as high as 75 to 80 percent.
A recent Consumer Report study found that 34 percent of credit reports contain at least one error.
A Federal Trade Commission study found that roughly one-quarter of participants who disputed information on their credit report didn’t see the information corrected, while a little more than half of the participants had some of the information corrected but not all.
Credit Reporting Agencies aren’t responsible for ensuring the accuracy of your credit report-you are.
To check your credit report for free you can go to AnnualCreditReport.com. This website was created in 2005 after President George W. Bush signed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) into law in 2003. Since the enactment of FACTA, everyone now has the right to request 1 free credit report every 12 months from each credit bureau.
If you're not checking your credit report at least once a year you really need to consider starting to do so immediately. In fact, I've heard people use different strategies where they'll use AnnualCreditReport.com to pull 1 report ever for months. For examply, they'll might pull their Experian report in January, their Transunion report in May, and their Equifax report in September. This is a great idea but it has it's downsides in that not all creditors report their accouts to each of the three credit reporting agencies.
There are also services out there like Credit Karma that help you keep an eye on changes to your credit report by sending you regular updates. Options like this aren't perfect solutions either because you typically don't have access to view your credit report and conduct a thorough line-by-line review.
After you get a copy of your credit report from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion you'll want to review it carefully for accuracy. Even mistakes that may seem small can have big consequences. For example, if there's an incorrect name or address on your credit report information about your credit could be getting sent to the wrong address or you could have what's known as a mixed file, which is when information from more than one person is reported on the same report. Issues such as a payment being reported late when it was on time can also impact your credit worthiness and may stay on your credit report for years.
You should dispute every mistake you find on your credit report and follow up to make sure that the mistakes were corrected a few months later by reviewing your credit report again. If the mistake is still there it may be time to talk to a lawyer.
When you talk with us about mistakes on your credit report, we explain your legal options and develop a strategy to help you correct your credit report. Call us today to talk about how we can help you fix mistakes on your credit report.