How accurate is your credit report?

A less-than-stellar credit report and score could stand in the way of a car purchase. (Associated Press)

A less-than-stellar credit report and score could stand in the way of a favorable interest rate for a car loan. (Associated Press)

Follow us on Twitter @AJCBiz

When was the last time you looked at your credit report? Was there a mistake that affected your credit score and stood in the way of your financing a major purchase or getting a favorable interest rate?

The Federal Trade Commission reports one in four consumers find an error on a credit report issued by one of the three major reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The overall conclusion, however, is that reports are “highly accurate,” according to an Associated Press item on the FTC study.

That’s little consolation  if you’ve been the victim of, say, identity theft and your credit has been wrecked and it’s showing up on your report. Or if you’re finally caught up on debts now that you’re working again but your report still has vestiges of your former credit crisis. Or if you’ve been denied a job because an error showed up on your report that spooked a potential employer.

Surprisingly, the FTC found that only 20 percent of consumers who disputed an error on their report saw it corrected by a reporting agency and only 10 percent saw their credit score changed, according to the AP.

How accurate is your credit report? Are there past-due entries that don’t belong to you? Charge-offs that should have been removed? How much trouble did you have – or are you having – getting the credit reporting agencies to correct the mistakes?

Just a reminder, consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report each year from each of the three major reporting agencies.

9 comments Add your comment

Mike

February 12th, 2013
1:16 pm

When I bought my house, there was a one-month overlap when I still had my old apartment. Georgia Power, despite having the change notice and moving the service over seamlessly to my new address, couldn’t figure out where to send the final bill for the apartment. It went into collections and was a blot on my credit report for years before I even knew about it. They never tried to contact me once, even though I signed in every month to pay my bill online.

They removed it quickly, but some inaccurate late payments from 2007 are still hounding me. I have the credit card statements, I know they weren’t late, but disputing them doesn’t do any good. And once they’ve said “the creditor has verified this information as correct,” they don’t even let you resubmit a dispute on the same item.

JJMac

February 12th, 2013
1:28 pm

We’re in the process of refinancing our house. When we got the initial credit report, there was an error on the reports from all three credit reporting agencies. While it has been corrected, we were told that it is still costing us money. One more piece of evidence for following Clark Howard’s advice to get a free report each year from each agency, staggered by a few months.

ClydeFr0g

February 12th, 2013
2:35 pm

Getting a free report is a nice idea, but just about completely useless.

For one thing, what we as the consumer see on our own report is not what the banks, employers, etc. see. They get the *real* report which is much more likely to have some inaccuracy.

For another thing, even if you do find a problem on your report, good luck getting it cleared off without taking the credit bureaus to federal court.

These credit bureaus need to be held to the highest standard with CRIMINAL accountability for INDIVIDUALS in the company so people go to JAIL for screwing up peoples’ lives. Only then will we see some actual progress in cleaning up this rogue industry of criminals and liars (who currently own the politicians also).

Synonomous

February 12th, 2013
3:24 pm

Credit reporting agencies are fraudulent hacks that don’t care one cent for whether your information is accurate or not. To hell with them. I don’t use credit cards, and have no intention of making some banker richer by taking out a mortgage to buy a house (which will probably be built in sub-standard fashion anyway, like most products nowadays). Modern society seems to be constructed to extract as much money from us as possible, whether it’s the government or private sector doing the extracting.

Stephanie

February 12th, 2013
3:52 pm

I had a huge inaccuracy on my credit report. A family member’s credit card went into collections and somehow it was showing up on my report. All I had to do was file the claim and let them know and it was fixed within days. I guess it just depends.

Just pulled my FICO score...

February 12th, 2013
3:59 pm

…last week and it was all correct – however, I do have questions as to why 5, count ‘em, 5 “inquiries” made by my current creditors for no real reason counted against my score, and, according to the report, there supposedly was an “:amount of new credit” that, too, could be affecting my score, even though I have not applied for any “new” credit in over 5 years…

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Stan Drulia

February 13th, 2013
12:23 pm

People are just retarded.

Timmy

February 17th, 2013
9:18 pm