To err is human right? Credit companies are operated and staffed by humans so it only makes sense they are not 100 percent on point all the time. This reality is supported by a study the Federal Trade Commission recently conducted which determined one out of every four credit reports does have errors. These errors of of various complexity from something that can be swiftly corrected or a problem that is whopping mess. One thing is for certain, keep an eye on what is showing up on your paperwork because credit report accuracy is something exceptionally important to self police.
What Kinds of Errors Detract from Credit Report Accuracy?
As we stated above there are plethora of these issues but the ones that nab the top spots are identity errors, incorrect account details and fraudulent accounts.
- A Case of Mistaken Identity – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three primary credit agencies, all have their own system for collecting and storing all personal information, data about your accounts and how you have paid those bills. It is not uncommon for one, two or all of them to compile incorrect information. Maybe your address is wrong or your birthday, but if they have confused with someone else, that needs to be remedied immediately. You don’t want someone else’s bad credit history being conjoined with yours.
- Not the Right Account Information – There are many occasions where the financial institution that provides your account information to the credit agencies makes a mistake. In addition, the credit agencies could enter this data wrong. For example, your credit card could be showing an incorrect credit limit or your mortgage may have been entered incorrectly as to when it commenced. Also, some accounts could still be open, when that debt has actually been paid in full and this impacts your credit report accuracy.
- False Accounts – This is a huge dilemma as it screams identity theft. This person or persons stole your Social Security number and other personal information in order to receive a false account in your name. That is when it is time to institute a security freeze with your credit agencies and contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the identity theft. A security freeze simply means no further accounts can be extended under your name and it can always be removed once the issue has been resolved. You also might want to think long and hard about a new Social Security number to prevent further complications from identity theft.
What Can Be Done to Instill Credit Report Accuracy?
If you review your credit report and discover an issue, file a dispute with your credit agencies. They must examine your claim and normally do so within 30 days of the problem being revealed to them. You may also have to contact the organizations in charge of your accounts to fix any problems, but remember it is up to you to ensure your own credit report accuracy. No one is going to step in to complete the task for you and credit report accuracy is essential to your financial standing.