As part of an ongoing polling project, American Consumer Credit Counseling has been posting a different poll question at ConsumerCredit.com each month. Last month, we asked:
Have you ever found an error in your credit report?
This survey comes in the wake of a recent announcement made by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that, beginning this month, it will supervise thirty of the country’s top credit bureaus. As the results will show, this announcement could not have come fast enough.
The Results: Over 150 Respondents
- Nearly 90% of all respondents claim to have found an error of some kind on their credit report.
- 22% of errors were in reporting of collections, charge offs, and late payments older than seven years.
- 19% of respondents found incorrect account details.
- 15% identified accounts and delinquencies on their report that were not theirs.
- 15 % found inaccuracies in their personal identifying information such as name and address.
- Only 13% of respondents reported no errors.
This is a troubling discovery. Of the 113 million credit card and retail card accounts, auto loans, personal loans, mortgages, and home equity loans originated in the U.S. in 2011, the vast majority were approved and priced using information provided by consumer reporting agencies.
Consumers should not only be checking their credit reports more frequently, but they can expect to find errors, and should take the necessary steps to have them corrected.
- You can obtain your free credit reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228.
- Correct any errors on your report. You have the legal right to dispute and correct this information, and you should. You can send a written dispute to each credit reporting agency that has reported inaccurate information. By law, they must investigate the dispute, correct any mistakes, and respond to you within 30 days. Afterwards, you should obtain another copy of your credit report to confirm the corrections. Then, you should also send the results of the investigation to the other credit reporting agencies. All of their contact information can be found at the link above.
For more information on cleaning up your credit report and score, check out our previous post, Improving Your Credit Score.