Credit Report Mistakes Common, Often Unaddressed
DENVER (CBS4) A new study issued by the Federal Trade Commission serves as a reminder to consumers that they need to check their credit report regularly.
The FTC report shows that 21 percent of people surveyed found inaccuracies in their credit reports. Of the respondents to the survey, 5 percent had errors serious enough to lead to higher costs for products like car loans and insurance.
“The credit reporting agencies have to keep the credit history on millions of people. All of this information is still manually entered into a credit history,” Jefferson County Fraud Investigator Cary Johnson offered as an explanation for some mistakes.
It’s the consumer’s responsibility to check their credit reports and see if there are mistakes. The reality is most people don’t.
“I rarely find people who have done that,” Johnson told CBS4.
If you do find incorrect information on your credit report, you need to dispute it with the credit reporting agency. The agency then has 30 days to respond to that dispute. The agency can respond that they’re going to change the information or they can ask for more verification.
“It’s a fairly frequent call for me to have people say, ‘I have incorrect information,’ ” Johnson said.
The FTC report indicated that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by the credit reporting agency, but the key is checking your report on a regular basis.
Each consumer is eligible for three free credit reports a year -– one from each of the three reporting agencies. You can get those reports for free at annualcreditreport.com.
You do need to enter your Social Security number on the website, so make sure the site is secure by either the lock on the screen or the “s” at the end of “http” in the web address.
– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith